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$80,000 Marie Curie Scholarship awarded to Lewis Central High School Student

Wednesday, Apr. 1, 2020

OMAHA, NEB. – College of Saint Mary (CSM) has selected Rachel Cushing of Council Bluffs, Iowa, as a Marie Curie Scholar, starting in the fall. Cushing received the surprise scholarship check for $80,000 at her home on Tuesday, March 31. She earns the scholarship after standing out in academic talent and showing outstanding leadership service.

“Rachel demonstrates a high level of curiosity, maturity and self-motivation in and out of the classroom,” said Brett Ford, a secondary science teacher at Lewis Central High School. “In the classroom, she puts a great deal of time and effort to ensure a true understanding of the topic at hand. She is a team player and willing to help other students in need.”

College of Saint Mary’s prestigious Marie Curie Scholars Program, which is funded in part by the National Science Foundation, provides significant financial support and resources to outstanding young women pursuing study in STEM majors, such as biology, chemistry, or math.

Marie Curie Scholars receive up to $20,000 annually for four years in gift aid. In addition to having access to substantial financial resources and facilities, participants also receive free tutoring, have opportunities for undergraduate research, and have access to top programs like the National Institute of Health and NASA research fellowships. Marie Curie Scholars at CSM also often attend and present at national conferences.

Cushing earns the scholarship after achieving several honors at Lewis Central High School. Some of Cushing’s academic and extracurricular accomplishments include:

  • National Honors Society member (2018-20)
  • Soccer All-Conference Hawkeye 10 1st Team (2018-19)
  • KMAland All-Star Volleyball Selection (2019)
  • Hawkeye 10 All-Academic Award (2019)

At CSM, she plans to major in biology, starting in the fall of 2020. Located in Omaha, in the heart of Aksarben Village, College of Saint Mary uses initiatives like the Marie Curie Scholar Program to provide women from all backgrounds with access to an affordable, excellent college experience, career-driven coursework, and lifelong leadership skills. She is one of five recipients of this year’s Marie Curie Scholarship.