Undergraduate Scholarships and Fellowships

Todd M. Schuster Award in Molecular and Cell BiologyThe Todd Schuster Award is dedicated to his memory and seeks to provide fellowship support for a deserving undergraduate student focusing on the field of Biophysics.Dr. Schuster received his BA degree in Humanities in 1958, and his MS in Physical Chemistry in 1960 both from Wayne State University. His PhD was awarded from Washington University in St. Louis in 1963 for Physical Chemistry & Molecular Biology. From 1963-1966 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Physical Chemistry and was hired as an Assistant Professor at UConn in 1966. He moved through the ranks to Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics and served as the Head of the B&B Section beginning in 1977. During the 1980s, Dr. Schuster began a small biotechnology firm, became the Director of the UConn Biotechnology Center and the Program Director for the National Ultracentrifugation Facility on campus. He served on several NIH and NSF grants review panels, and was a member of the Connecticut Academy of Sciences and Engineering. Over 33 years, he published more than 60 scientific articles dealing with a variety of biophysical problems including hemoglobin structure and tobacco mosaic virus assembly and structure.SCHUSTER, T. M., J. M. TOEDT. 1996. New revolutions in the evolution of analytical ultracentrifugation. Current Opinion in Structural Biology 6:650-658.JOHN J. STECKERT & TODD M. SCHUSTER. 1982. Sequence specificity of trinucleoside diphosphate binding to polymerized tobacco mosaic virus protein. Nature 299, 32 – 36.
Paul Drotch
Lt. Paul Drotch Memorial ScholarshipThe Drotch family established the Lt. Paul Drotch Memorial Scholarship for undergraduate Biology majors forty years ago in memory of Paul, a 1957 graduate of the UConn Bacteriology Department. It is a testament to this family’s devotion to their lost loved one and its gratitude for UConn’s contribution to their lives.Paul attended UConn when there were several biological sciences departments, including Bacteriology, a discipline later combined into the Department Molecular and Cell Biology. Paul was a serious and confident student, but also knew how to balance this with his playful side. He graduated in 1957 and planned to further his education in a biology Masters degree program. At the time, the military draft was in effect, so he enlisted in the Marine Corps, joining its officer candidate school to make his military service more rewarding. He was admitted to flight school and trained as a fighter pilot, an exciting and still relatively new job in the military. While Paul was stationed in South Carolina, his wing was sent to California in winter 1959-60 for winter survival training. These were tense times in US relations with Cuba; by spring 1960, Fidel Castro was establishing close ties with the USSR and the US bolstered its forces at the Guantanamo naval base. Paul’s wing returned to South Carolina and was then sent to Guantanamo in May for training. Paul flew an A-4 jet, an aircraft designed to support ground forces by flying at only a few hundred feet or less. The hilly Cuban terrain was challenging. In late May, Paul’s aircraft was lost during a training exercise. The Lt. Paul Drotch Memorial Scholarship was created by the family in 1960 to recognize Paul’s accomplishments at UConn and UConn’s role in his aspirations. Originally an award was made to a single student in Bacteriology, but the scholarship fund has grown, in part from generous contributions by Paul’s brother Peter. Now the awards are made annually to several high achieving students in MCB, EEB, PNB or Biological Sciences.