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Striving for the Highest: Priory Internship Leads to 2021 Class of Astronauts Scholars Award
Elizabeth McDonnell

Abigail Sipes '18 was selected as one of the 2021 Class of Astronauts Scholars by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). The ASF is a non-profit organization providing more than 50 scholarships to the brightest and most talented college students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics annually.

This prestigious scholarship is awarded to about 50 students nationwide who conduct research in STEM. To qualify, a college junior/senior must first be nominated by their school and pass the school's committee requirements and then their application is sent to the national committee. Students must submit a personal statement and a resume regarding the research they've conducted and how they will continue their research and the impact it had and will have. 

“The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation was created in 1984 by the six surviving Mercury 7 astronauts. Together they represented a wealth of collective influence which was particularly suited to encouraging university students pursuing scientific excellence. Their mission was to ensure the United States would be the global leader in technology for decades to come,” the ASF website says. 

Sipes is a senior at Purdue Universitystudying Biochemistry and has been conducting research for more than 7 years. Sipes participated in the State Science Fair during her time at St. Andrew’s Schools where she conducted research with a professor from UH. Shortly after, she was offered a position as an intern for the next three summers.  

“My extensive research experience is in part due to my upbringing at Priory. The most monumental experience that impacted my research career was Priory in the City where we had to get an internship that aligned with our future career goals. PIC helped me obtain an internship at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center,” Sipes said. 

This past summer, Sipes interned at Bayer Pharmaceuticals working in the R&D department. Next May she will graduate from Purdue and plans to attend graduate school to obtain a Ph.D.

“After having experience with research in an academic setting and an industry setting, I have decided to apply the skills and knowledge that I've gained in a biotech company. I hope to one day guide a company's mission to what is cutting-edge research and where the company's focus should be. I'd like to be part of a team that makes a meaningful impactin the biomedical field.”

Abigail Sipes, we commend you in your endeavors and your constant desire to  

Kūlia i ka Nu'u -Strive for the Highest!