Washburn graduate Bergman is awarded Phi Kappa Phi fellowship

Yue Li

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi has awarded Washburn graduate Whitney Bergman a national graduate fellowship. There were in total 50 recipients nationwide. Each of them will receive a $8,500 fellowship for their first year of graduate or professional study.

Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, most prestigious and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines. The members of Phi Kappa Phi have won numerous national and international awards like Nobel Prizes and Pulitzer Prizes.

Students can only be invited to join Phi Kappa Phi, and membership is only to Washburn University’s top 7.5 percent of second-term juniors and the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students. Once inducted in the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, members receive the lifelong access to a network of academic and professional opportunities.

Bergman is a May 2019 Washburn graduate with major in biochemistry and minor in biology.

“I’ve always liked biology and chemistry,” said Bergman. “I guess that’s just what I’ve known for a long time that I’ve liked the most. It’s what I’m interested in the most.”

While Bergman was studying at Washburn University, she was a member of the chemistry club, and she has done some community service through the club and the chemistry department. She was also served as a tutor, stockroom assistant and supplemental instructor.

“I helped tutors, and I was a supplemental instructor. And I worked in the chemical stockroom. So I did a lot of stuff through the chemical department too,” said Bergman.

Bergman has presented some of her research at different conferences and has gotten awards through these conferences. She has also received a lot of awards through the chemistry department.

While at Washburn, Bergman enjoyed being a tutor and helping the students learn things and overcome obstacles.

“I really liked tutoring and helping the other students learn about what they were, help them learn for their classes,” said Bergman. “That was a good part of being at Washburn.”

Bergman is going to the University of Colorado Boulder to pursue her PhD degree in biochemistry.

“They (the University of Colorado Boulder) have a really good program. And there are lots of faculty that I’m interested in the research that they’re doing. So there’s a lot of different options that I can do there,” said Bergman.

About her plan in University of Colorado Boulder, Bergman said, “I want to do some kind of research with biochemistry and more along the lines of medical research. So hopefully get a job somewhere in academia or an industry with that.”

Bergman encourages students to stay open and get involved in the campus life.

“Don’t be scared to get involved. Just try and get out there. Don’t be so shy and get involved in whatever department you are in,” said Bergman. “Just try and do as much as you can, because it’s very rewarding.”

Edited by Adam White and Abbie Barth.