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Northview grad earns RHIT award

Thursday, May 8, 2008

(Photo)
TERRE HAUTE -- Brazil resident Brittiney Hofmann was recently selected among the Young Botanists of the Year from the Botanist Society of America for undergraduate research completed during her career as an applied biology major at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Hofmann is the daughter of Ron and Donna Hofmann, Brazil. She was salutatorian of the 2004 NHS graduating class.

The Young Botanist of the Year award is presented to students who are thought to possess the important characteristics that will lead to significant contributions to botany in the future.

She will receive a Certificate of Special Achievement from the Botany Society and have her name published in the Plant Science Bulletin.

"The Young Botanist Award is an honor I feel credits my undergraduate work (at Rose-Hulman)," Hofmann said. "A scientific education goes far beyond the theories and formulas emphasized in the classroom. Scientific thinking cannot strictly be learned, but rather developed through practice and endeavor."

As a student researcher, Hofmann analyzed the biological and chemical composition of a man-made wetland research project, studying the biochemical and genetic characterization of putative bacterial disease resistance genes in Arabidopsis thaliana, to gain experience and knowledge in plant pathology.

Hofmann made presentations about both projects at national and campus scientific conferences.

"Brittiney has clearly exhibited skills of a successful scientist; the ability to assimilate data from a diversity of fields, formulating testable, hypotheses and designing controlled experiments. So far, she is the best research student I have ever had," Assistant Professor of applied biology at Rose-Hulman Peter Coppinger said.

Assistant Professor of Applied Biology Ella Ingram agreed.

"Brittiney's behavior (seeking out educational research opportunities) indicated deep interest in research as a mechanism for pursing knowledge," Ingram said. "She knows how to work hard and manage responsibilities. And, she knows what she wants from a research degree -- to participate in research and teaching professionally as an academic."

Hofmann has been accepted in the plant pathology doctorate program at Purdue University, beginning her studies in the fall.



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