First in family to attend college honored

Courtesy of Zachary Resko Junior Duquesne biology student Zachary Resko is the first in his family to attend college. Resko recently received the distinguished Barry Goldwater Scholarship to continue his research into using bacteria strains to improve vaccinations.

Courtesy of Zachary Resko
Junior Duquesne biology student Zachary Resko is the first in his family to attend college. Resko recently received the distinguished Barry Goldwater Scholarship to continue his research into using bacteria strains to improve vaccinations.

Grant Stoner and Gigi Jeddi | The Duquesne Duke 

After a lengthy application process, junior biology major, Zachary Resko, received notification that he was the recipient of the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship.

Developed to inspire students studying mathematics, engineering and natural sciences, the $7,500 scholarship can assist students with their future endeavors in their specified fields of research.

Resko is a first generation college student, and he plans to use the money to continue his research into using the bacterium Streptomyces Coelicolor to help deliver vaccinations.

“I make my family really proud,” Resko said. “It’s definitely going to help me and it’s just an honor to be awarded.”

According to Joseph McCormick, chair of Duquesne’s Biological Sciences department, Resko’s studious attitude stood out when he worked as a lab assistant and an undergraduate research assistant.

The application process involved multiple interviews and lasted four months, according to Resko.

“Zach was recognized because of his academic performance and work ethic,” McCormick said, adding that Resko’s experience as a summer research fellow for the American Society for Microbiology last year added to Resko’s appeal.

“He’s representative [of] the caliber of students that we have and it’s nice to see our students succeed,” McCormick said. “These awards help validate the continuing efforts by the faculty to provide an exceptional education in the S.T.E.M. fields.”

Resko said he plans to continue a career of research in the field of microbiology.

“I’m definitely going to do my Ph.D.,” Resko said. “That’s definitely my ultimate goal and hopefully I can teach at the university level one day.”

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