Former Expo Winner Awarded Fellowship

Former 2011 Expo winner Elaine Colligan awarded prestigious Mortara Undergraduate Research Fellowship at Georgetown University!

Elaine Colligan

Elaine Colligan, the Global Health Winner from the 2011 Student Bio Expo, was one of three freshmen—and  the only woman—to recently receive a notable Mortara Undergraduate Research Fellowship at Georgetown University. Securing funding for her four undergraduate years, Elaine beat out nearly forty other applicants for these three coveted positions; this year is the first that the School of Foreign Service awarded research grants to freshmen. The Fellows will work 10-15 hours per week. Their wages will increase over the years as they become more experienced.

Elaine attributes some of her success at receiving this scholarship to her experience in the Bio Expo: “Bio Expo was most definitely a worthwhile event. The event exposed me to many facets of science and scientific research I wasn’t aware of before and piqued my current academic interest.” Elaine also relates that “I didn’t find real passion in what I was learning until given the opportunity to research TB from an international affairs – global health – standpoint. The Bio Expo allowed me to integrate many of my areas of interest, like culture, political systems, and environmental heath, into the project, which is why I think it was successful.”

Combining different topics for her Expo project also “prepared [Elaine] to think in interdisciplinary ways during [her] freshman year of college, something [she is] constantly asked to do.” Elaine believes in the importance of supporting the Bio Expo in order to “continue to inspire students and teach this interdisciplinary, critical thinking which is increasingly important in today’s globalized world and in higher education.” As a potential Science, Technology, and International Affairs Major with a certificate on International Development or African Studies, Elaine underscores the importance of multidisciplinary education by her own educational plans.

For a more extensive biography of Elaine Colligan or to see the other Fellows, visit here:

Elaine is a shining example of how the Expo engages and celebrates students who have yet to find their connection to science. We will continue to feature Expo stories like this one. If you or anyone you know would like to share your Expo story, contact Jenn Pang (


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