The American Society for Microbiology selected Western Michigan University's Olivia Walser as a 2013 award recipient of the ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Walser will receive a $4,000 stipend, a two-year ASM student membership and travel expenses to the ASM Capstone Institute and the ASM general meeting. Walser was one of 21 undergraduate students chosen from an applicant pool of 138. The fellowship targets highly competitive students interested in graduate careers in microbiology. Fellows conduct full-time summer research with an ASM mentor and have the opportunity to present their results at the general meeting in Boston, MA.
Walser's mentor is Dr. Silvia Rossbach, WMU professor of biological sciences. Their research project is titled Investigating Inositol Catabolism in Sinorhizobium meliloti. Walser is president of the WMU BioClub and has received numerous awards from WMU, including the College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Award, Office of the Vice President for Research Undergraduate Research Excellence Award and the Merrill Wiseman Award in Microbiology.