Victor Cotton to Represent Penn State's Eberly College of Science as Student Marshal at Fall Commencement 2014
Victor Cotton of Hershey, Pennsylvania will be honored as the student marshal for the Eberly College of Science during Penn State University's fall commencement ceremonies on Saturday, 20 December 2014 on the University Park campus. Cotton's faculty escort for the commencement exercises will be James Strauss, senior lecturer in biology.
Cotton will graduate with a 4.0 grade point average and a bachelor of science degree in science. He is currently in his fourth year of undergraduate studies at Penn State's University Park campus as part of the Eberly College of Science and Smeal College of Business five-year combined Science BS/MBA program.
While at Penn State, Cotton earned the Schreyer Honors College Academic Excellence Scholarship for 2011 to 2014; the Balog Scholarship for 2011 to 2014; the President's Award for freshmen in 2012; an undergraduate research grant in 2013; the President Sparks Award in 2013; the Evan Pugh Scholar Award for juniors in 2014; and the Smeal College of Business Administration Scholarship in 2014.
As part of the Science BS/MBA Program, Cotton has conducted research on polymer chemistry with Professor Tae-Hee Lee, associate professor of chemistry. The research project involved optimization of a protocol for coating a quartz slide with a polymer layer to facilitate DNA-protein interactions. Using a technique called total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM), which allows one to visualize only fluorescent molecules that are directly adhering to the cells on the surface of the slide and removes the light from unattached fluorescent molecules, Cotton was able to assess the effectiveness of the polymer surfaces.
In addition to his academic achievements, Cotton completed a six-month administrative internship in the Heart and Vascular Institute at the Hershey Medical Center. Throughout his undergraduate career, he continued to work on his family's farm on weekends.
Cotton said he was surprised and honored to be selected as student marshal. "The most important lesson that I will take with me from my time at Penn State is to set goals from the beginning and develop a clear vision for accomplishing each one," he said.
After graduating, Cotton plans to earn an MBA from the Smeal College of Business to complete the Science BS/MBA Program, then plans to attend medical school.
Cotton, a graduate of Hershey High School in Hershey, Pennsylvania will be accompanied at commencement by his father, Victor Cotton (Penn State College of Medicine '87); his mother, Joy Cotton (Penn State College of Medicine '87); his brother Christian, who is studying science at Penn State; and his sisters, Caroline and Antoinette, who attend high school.
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