Sarah Herbison Named First WSU Undergraduate Research Scholar

PULLMAN, Wash. — A Washington State University senior chemistry major who researches metallic soil contaminants has been named the first Outstanding Undergraduate Research Scholar by the College of Sciences at WSU.

Sarah Herbison began researching in associate professor of chemistry Sue Clark’s laboratory through the College of Sciences/Honors College summer research program following her freshman year. She is co-author of a paper published in the Journal of Radiochimica Acta in April 2000 and her research findings have been presented at several national and international chemistry meetings.

At the 2001 national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego, she presented her research findings. She was one of 24 students selected nationwide for a $10,000 American Chemical Society Nuclear and Radioanalytical Summer School fellowship, which allowed her to spend six weeks after her sophomore year studying the fundamentals of nuclear science at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, NY.

Herbison was awarded a prestigious, national $7,500 Goldwater Scholarship for her senior year and last summer she spent a 10-week internship at Argon National Lab West in Idaho Falls, Idaho, where she studied ways to remove heavy metals from aqueous solutions. She has been an undergraduate teaching assistant, co-chaired the Chemistry Club’s Demonstration Show during Mom’s Weekend and has served on the College of Sciences Student Advisory Council for two years.

Herbison will graduate from the WSU Honors College on Dec. 15. After graduation she will continue her research with Clark. Her new project focuses on transformation of uranium (VI) hydroxides to uranium (VI) phosphates, which pose less environmental risk. She intends to enter an environmental chemistry doctoral program next fall and hopes eventually to become a research scientist at a national lab.

Herbison is a 1997 graduate of Spokane’s North Central High School. Her parents are Neil and Sherry Herbison of 4141 W. Kathleen, Spokane.

Outstanding Undergraduate Research Scholars receive $250 book awards from the College of Sciences. The award recognizes scholars for their research achievement. Faculty mentors, too, are recognized for their caring commitment.