Two AAP Scholars Receive Frost Scholarship to Attend University of Oxford

Research and Mentoring Program (RAMP) Scholar, Michael Dieffenbach ’18, and McNair Scholar, Joey Velez-Ginorio ’18, will be pursuing masters degrees at the University of Oxford, funded by the Frost Scholarship Programme (Florida). The Scholarships cover 100% of university costs as well as living expenses for these two scholars.

Michael Dieffenbach completed his biomedical sciences degree in the Spring of 2018.  He will be pursuing an MSc in Pharmacology at the University of Oxford. Michael ultimately plans to pursue an MD/Ph.D.  Reflecting on his RAMP experience, Michael notes “it certainly helped financially and allowed me to dedicate more time to my chosen field while still providing for my family. I made valuable connections and gained experience in many aspects of research.”  Apart from RAMP, Michael was involved in the Burnett Honors College, completed an Honors in the Major thesis, and won the Distinguished Undergraduate Research Award sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research.

Joey Velez-Ginorio, recent Computer Engineering McNair Alum, will be pursuing his MSc in Mathematics and Foundations of Computer Science at the University of Oxford. Joey’s research explores computational cognitive science and artificial intelligence. Joey is excited about his graduate journey. “It’s a huge privilege to be awarded the Frost Scholarship,” he said, “Because of it, I now have an opportunity to ground my research interests in a unique way, by spending a year to further my understanding of the mathematics underlying computer science.” Joey credits the McNair Scholars Program with helping him realize his potential to pursue and achieve a Ph.D.   Joey is also a recipient of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. After completing his MSc at the University of Oxford, Joey will be pursuing his Ph.D. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Two AAP Scholars previously received the Frost Fellowship, Laura Puentes ’15 and Heidi Waite ’17.  Laura is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania, and Heidi will start her Ph.D. in Biology at the University of California Irvine this Fall.

Funded through the Phillip and Felicia Frost Philanthropic Foundation, the Frost Scholarship provides ten awards per year to students from Florida to attain their master degrees at the University of Oxford in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine. Through their graduate studies, Frost Scholars are encouraged to contribute to the global improvement of health and scientific knowledge.