By Myra Saturen
April 14, 2011
James William McMichael III, an NCC 2010 graduate, has won a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.
Goldwater Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit and outstanding performance in mathematics, science, or engineering. Candidates are nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.
McMichael, age 43, enrolled at NCC as a biotechnology major in 2009, after having lost his job as a heavy equipment operator in the construction business. Within only three semesters, he finished two independent research projects and two service learning projects, the first NCC student to attain such an accomplishment.
In cooperation with three other students, McMichael investigated an invasive plant species, the Japanese barberry, which frequently overruns park space. The plant, however, contains important medicinal components, and McMichael explored what part of the plant yields the highest concentrations of these materials.
McMichael entered NCC as an individualized transfer student. Through the college's individualized transfer program, students can transfer to a 4-year institution having taken courses at NCC that are tailored to match those of the receiving institution.
After graduating with honors from NCC, with a 3.96 GPA, McMichael transferred to Bucknell University, where he plans to earn a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and cell biology. His ultimate goal is to manipulate DNA in organisms to produce new products.
He joins students from Brown, Colgate, Duke, Emory, Harvard and other top-tier colleges and universities as a recipient of the Goldwater Scholarship.