Claremont, Calif. (April 14, 2017)—Pitzer College senior Lillian Horin ’17 and alumnus Alfredo “Freddy” Valencia ’14 have been awarded 2017 Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships. These national awards provide three years of support for graduate work by individuals who have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level and are well prepared to use diversity to enrich the education of all students, according to the fellowship’s webpage. Horin and Valencia are two of approximately 60 undergraduate or graduate students from across the country to win Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships this year.
Lillian Horin ’17, who is a biology major, plans to research the relationship between metabolic dysregulation and (epi)genetic regulation in graduate school at Harvard University. During her time at Pitzer, Horin earned widespread recognition for her scientific research and academic excellence. This year, in addition to the Ford Foundation fellowship, she won a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Last year, she was awarded a Barry Goldwater Scholarship and was selected to participate in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Exceptional Research Opportunities Program. She has served as a summer research assistant at Harvard Medical School and at the University of California, Merced. Horin has won numerous awards at scientific conferences and has served as the vice president of The Claremont Colleges’ chapter of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science. A first-generation college student from Los Angeles, Horin is committed to improving retention of underrepresented students in the science fields.
Alfredo “Freddy” Valencia ’14, who majored in biochemistry at Pitzer, was awarded a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship to complete his PhD in chemical biology at Harvard University. His research focuses on the biochemical and epigenetic underpinnings of highly aggressive cancers. At Pitzer, Valencia was a McNair Scholar as well as a teacher’s assistant and a research assistant in Assistant Professor of Chemistry Aaron Leconte’s lab at the W.M. Keck Science Department. He also volunteered with Tutors for a Cause. Valencia is currently conducting research in the Kadoch laboratory, which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Broad Institute of MIT and other organizations dedicated to creating innovative ways to target human cancers.
Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships are awarded following a national competition administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on behalf of the Ford Foundation. In addition to the fellowship award, Ford Fellows are eligible to attend the Conference of Ford Fellows, a unique national conference of a select group of high-achieving scholars committed to diversifying the professoriate and using diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.