By: Jen Russon
A Coral Springs resident who excelled in area schools before attending the University of Florida was awarded the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship.
Emily Pallack is a 2019 graduate of American Heritage and a former student at Mary Help of Christians in Parkland. Her family, parents Pamela and Scott, and younger brother, Ryan, live in the Turtle Run community.
Pallack said her scholarship funds are earmarked for further research, which she believes will bridge basic science and engineering using stem cells.
She added her studies of biomaterials should take her well beyond the Sunshine State.
“I plan on attending graduate school for my Ph.D. outside of Florida. A few big centers are around Boston, North Carolina, and the Bay Area. But I’ll go anywhere that has an interesting project and will take me,” said Pallack.
The Goldwater scholarship is, in a word, prestigious.
Named for the late U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater, it’s awarded to only a few hundred research-focused undergraduates from 5,000 college sophomores and juniors.
To be chosen, applicants must pursue game-changing careers in natural sciences, engineering, or mathematics.
A microbiology major, Pallack has already published her research on human tissue and regenerative medicine in peer-reviewed journals. Her studies on stem cell research, meant to help people with spinal cord injuries, are why she’s a proud 2022 Goldwater scholar.
Pallack said her childhood in Coral Springs impacted this exciting field of study.
“In elementary school, I attended a small science summer camp at Betti Stradling Park; I remember really enjoying that,” recalls Pallack, adding Coral Springs’ parks and nature trails were also a driving force.
“Since I research spinal cord and peripheral nerve injury, I find it important to recognize walking is often taken for granted,” said Pallack.
But it’s more than just green spaces that brought Pallack to being one of just 234 women selected for the scholarship.
She was quick to mention several teachers by name.
At Mary Help of Christians, these mentors include Jaclyn Schaub, Lisa Kempinski, and Stacy Sexton.
At American Heritage, a private school in Plantation, Pallack said she was influenced by Leya Joykutty, Kepa Oyarbide, Diana Sood, and Silvina Peiretti.
“I have to say most of my teachers have all been amazing smart women.”
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- Jen Russon has been a staff writer for Talk Media since 2018. She is also a novelist, copywriter and editor at Swallow Publishing, LLC.
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