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The University of Richmond has named seniors Andrew Massaro of Medford, N.J., and Sally Fisher of Nashville, Tenn., the first two of five 2010 Beckman scholars. In March, the university won a $96,500 award from The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation to fund scientific research for five undergraduate students. Massaro and Fisher will receive funding for two summers and one academic year of on-campus research as well as travel to a California academic conference both summers.

The fellowship is awarded to exceptional students who have already demonstrated commitment to research, strong academic records and serious consideration of their career trajectories.

Massaro will complete his research on sponge feeding behavior and metabolism, which he started in 2008 with biology professor Malcolm Hill. Fisher will continue her research on the structure of the motor protein, kinesin, which she also began in the fall of 2008 under the direction of chemistry professor Carol Parish.

Richmond won a similar Beckman Foundation grant in 2006, which also funded research for five undergraduates.