Rose Summers, a CU Boulder senior from Ward, Colorado, has recently received the highly sought-after Marshall Scholarship.
“We’re super proud of Rose and we’re really happy to have her representing CU,” said Deborah Viles, director of CU Boulder’s Top Scholarships office. “She represents the best of what CU has to offer. So we’re really excited to see her move forward in this. We look forward to seeing what she does at Cambridge and beyond.”
Summers, who also earned a Goldwater Scholarship this spring, is dual majoring in integrative physiology and neuroscience. As part of her scholarship offer she has been given the opportunity to study at one of the top schools in the United Kingdom, the University of Cambridge.
The Marshall Scholarship allows American students to study in the U.K. at the graduate level, helping to strengthen the relationship between British and American peoples.
Those interested in a campus endorsement for prestigious scholarships should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q&A with Rose Summers
Why did you choose to attend CU Boulder?
I just found that it’s a very good school. It has a great reputation, and it’s known for having very good research. It was very close by, as well, so I think it just kind of worked out.
What has your experience at CU been like thus far?
Very very positive. I love CU. I’ve been getting kind of nostalgic lately because its my senior year. I walk around campus, and I study at Norlin, and I kind of realize that my life won't be like this forever.
I really appreciate being around like-minded people who are also very driven and very inspirational. Some of my professors have been really incredible. I’ve really bonded with them, and they still support me.
How did you become interested in integrative physiology and neuroscience?
I was always pretty innately interested in biology, like from a very young age. I think some people are just drawn to certain things. I used to love getting anatomy textbooks for Christmas. To some extent, it was just inherent. But I didn’t have a lot of confidence growing up, and I didn’t know if I would be smart enough to go to medical school. It's a very competitive field.
I was only majoring in biology and art to become a medical illustrator because I thought I had the skills for it and it was more attainable—but I would still be involved in research and medicine. Then I realized that I could actually be involved in research and medicine, and that’s when I fully transitioned to just integrative physiology and neuroscience.
Why did you choose to apply for the Marshall Scholarship?
Since I’m so involved with cerebral organoids, I’ve known about Cambridge for a long time. Madeline Lancaster at Cambridge basically invented the entire protocol for the models I’m creating. There’s a lot of people who are leading my field of research there. So, I initially looked into Cambridge because of the research that was being done there. And then I found the scholarships for doing graduate school in the U.K.
What are you currently researching?
I’m generating cerebral organoids. So they’re like tiny models of the human brain. They’re three-dimensional structures made of the same cells that are found in certain regions of the human brain. I’m specifically modeling Down Syndrome-related Alzheimer's disease.
How has your family reacted to your success?
My mom has been amazingly supportive, and I think it makes her really happy. She was interested in biology and medicine when she was younger. She ended up not being able to do it to the fullest extent because of a bunch of unfortunate circumstances, and I think she kind of gets to see me accomplishing all these things that I really care about.
I’ve been so lucky and fortunate to be able to do this. I think it makes her really happy, which is great. It's definitely a big motivator for me.
Do you have any advice for students who are interested in applying for a prestigious scholarship?
It can be very intimidating. I think there’s a lot of imposter syndrome, in general, in these fields.
It’s important to just remember that your value or potential isn’t quantified by your GPA or by XYZ research experience. You're kind of a collective of so many different parts as a person, and I think scholarships actually can reflect that. It’s more about being, honestly, just a good person as a whole.