February 15, 2011

Nance, Robbins garner Cambridge scholarships

Two U of C students, Annie Robbins and Greg Nance, were named Gates Cambridge scholars last week, making them the College’s ninth and tenth recipients of the award.

The two fourth-years were among 30 scholars chosen out of 800 applicants.

Robbins is a chemistry and biochemistry major currently performing research on the microenvironment of breast cancer, is an active member of Mission for Vision, and a volunteer at La Rabida Children’s Hospital.

Being named a recipient of the College’s Lillian Gertrude Selz Prize in 2008 didn’t prepare Robbins for finding out she was named a Gates Cambridge scholar.

“I’m still in shock, I’m kind of a nerd about it, I keep checking my e-mail to tell me that it was really someone else,” Robbins said.

At Cambridge, Robbins will pursue a Masters in Philosophy in clinical biochemistry. studying the cellular mutations in patients with lipodystrophy, a disease characterized by abnormal fat cells.

She hopes to experience different approaches to scientific research while studying in the UK.

“I’ve talked with some scientists over there, and they have breaks for tea, so they must manage their time better,” Robbins said. “Grad students here definitely don’t take breaks.”

Student Government (SG) President Nance, a political science and international relations major, will pursue a Masters of Philosophy in Management.

Nance, a 2010 Truman Scholar, is the founding director of Moneythink, a finance mentoring program for high school students. He hopes to both expand the organization to Cambridge and continue directing the program on a strategic level from across the Atlantic.

He plans to use cross-industry experience learned at Cambridge to serve in Teach for America upon his return to the U.S. and continue his entrepreneurial work.

“Eventually I hope to serve as a superintendent in Seattle public schools, and in this way, come up with solutions to the big problems in American education,” Nance said.

In addition to his coursework, Nance will be a lightweight member of Cambridge’s boxing team.

“I box for the Chicago boxing club, and am hoping to take that to the next level with intercollegiate boxing,” Nance said.