CORVALLIS - An Oregon State University senior has earned an undergraduate research fellowship from the American Society for Microbiology.

Jessica Mentzer, a 1996 graduate of Junction City High School, is one of 21 students across the country to receive the fellowship.

Mentzer, who is studying microbiology, was one of 55 students to apply for the fellowship. Of the 21 awards, 16 were given to students from research and doctoral institutions such as OSU and five were awarded to students from masters' and liberal arts institutions.

"Applying for the ASM fellowship was a pretty intensive process," Mentzer said. "I had to state my goals, my objectives, everything. But it is a great experience - one that will definitely help me later.

"All students, if they have the opportunity, should look into applying for any types of fellowships that are available," said Mentzer, explaining that the process will help her in making future research grants applications.

Mentzer is working with Janine Trempy, OSU associate professor of microbiology, researching bacterial reaction to stress.

Mentzer has also studied crown gall in grape rootstocks and is the treasurer of the OSU Microbiology Student Association. Her academic performance has earned her a spot on the university's Scholastic Honor Roll.

Each ASM fellow receives a $2,500 stipend and Trempy will receive reimbursement for research supplies.

The program is designed to encourage students to pursue careers or advanced degrees in the microbiological sciences by providing a chance to participate in a research project.

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Jessica Mentzer, 541-757-3493