University of Scranton Student Makes USA TODAY’s National Academic Team

04/29/09

Coral Stredny, a biochemistry major at The University of Scranton, has been named among the nation’s 60 brightest college students in USA TODAY’s 2009 ALL-USA College Academic Teams. The elite group of students, named to three academic teams, represents some of the nation’s most prestigious schools including Harvard, Yale and the U.S. Naval Academy. The teams were listed in the April 29 edition of USA TODAY.  Stredny is on the third team.

Stredny is the sixth University of Scranton student to be named to USA TODAY’s ALL-USA College Academic Teams in the past seven years.
This is the second national award Stredny, Dallas, Pa. In 2007, she was awarded a highly competitive Goldwater scholarship.

“She is one of the most amazing students that I have encountered,” said Timothy Foley, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry and Goldwater faculty representative at Scranton. “She is extremely talented and has tremendous potential. Coral has been involved in research since her freshman year, and has presented and defended her work at national conferences.”

Since the end of her freshman year, Stredny has participated in research with Timothy Foley, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry, through Scranton’s Faculty-Student Teaching Mentorship Program and the Faculty-Student Research Program with Dr. Foley.  Through their research, she is listed as a co-author in a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Neurochemical Research and has presented her research at national meetings of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Stredny took full advantage of the “tremendous research opportunities available to undergraduates at Scranton.” She was awarded the President’s Fellowship for Undergraduate Research for the summer of 2006 at The University of Scranton and Summer Research Internships at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Neurodegenerative Disease in the summer of 2008 and again for this upcoming summer.

“Until I worked with students from other colleges, I didn’t fully realize that the extent of my research experience was unique. Many of my friends at Scranton also work with faculty members, present at conferences or have their names on research papers. I just assumed other undergraduates had the same experience,” said Stredny, who is grateful for the national recognition she has received.

Stredny’s biochemistry research projects examine how regulation of certain proteins affects brain function. In more scientific terms, “with Dr. Foley, I research oxidative stress-induced regulation of vicinal dithiol-containing proteins, and at The University of Pennsylvania, I investigated the proteases responsible for cleaving TDP-43, the major disease protein in ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis),” explains Stredny.

A member of the university’s Undergraduate Honors Program, Stredny maintains a 3.97 GPA. She received the university’s O’Hara Award for achieving the highest freshman GPA in the College of Arts and Sciences for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 academic years. She is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society (the National Honor Society for First Year Students), Beta Beta Beta (the National Honor Society for Biology), Alpha Sigma Nu (the National Jesuit Honor Society), and is vice president of Phi Lambda Upsilon (the National Chemistry Honor Society). She received the university’s Award for Excellence in Biochemistry and was named to Who’s Who Among American College Students.

Stredny serves as the Research Chair for the university’s Health Professions Organization and participated in the Scranton Emerging Leaders Program. She was the Survivorship Chair for Colleges Against Cancer and the Survivorship Chair for the Relay for Life Committee.

As the Northeast Pennsylvania Division Lieutenant Governor and the District Project Chair for Circle K International, Stredny has also represented the university’s club on the Pennsylvania District State Board.

She also has worked as Dr. Foley’s teaching assistant for an undergraduate laboratory class and as a peer tutor for general and organic chemistry and anatomy and physiology.

After graduation she will pursue a medical degree at Jefferson Medical College and then plans to pursue a post-doctoral fellowship, most likely in biochemistry.

A graduate of Dallas High School, Stredny resides in Dallas with her parents Edward and Joanne Stredny, and her brother Eddie.

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