Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2010-03-26

Ashley Spann, a Samford University junior biology major from Douglasville, Ga., has received a prestigious United Negro College Fund-Merck Undergraduate science research scholarship award valued at $35,000.

Spann is one of 15 students nationwide to receive the competitive award, which includes a $25,000 scholarship and two summer internships valued at $5,000 each. In addition, the Samford biology department will receive up to $10,000 to purchase equipment, supplies and to support scholarships for other students n the department.

As a UNCF-Merck Undergraduate Fellow, Spann will attend a “Fellows Day” in June at Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center n Blue Bell, Penn. During three-month summer research internships in 2010 and 2011, she will be mentored by a Merck scientist at one of three Merck research facilities in the northeast.

UNCF-Merck Fellows are selected on the basis of grade point average, demonstrated interest in their own scientific education and a career in scientific research, and their ability to perform in a laboratory environment.

Spann, a dean’s list student, is a member of Beta Beta Beta biology honor society and Alpha Epsilon Delta pre-medical honor society. During the summer of 2009, she was a student cancer researcher at Vanderbilt University.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.