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Lion shrine with flowers

Cuyler Luck to represent Eberly College of Science as student marshal at spring commencement 2020

29 April 2020

Cuyler Luck in lab coat and gloves

Cuyler Luck of State College, Pennsylvania, will be honored as one of two student marshals for the Eberly College of Science during Penn State’s virtual spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 9, 2020. Luck’s faculty escort for the commencement exercises will be Manuel Llinás, Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Luck will graduate with a 4.0 grade point average and a bachelor’s degree in microbiology. He was a Schreyer Scholar in the Schreyer Honors College, a member of the Millennium Scholars Program, and a member of the Dean’s List for every semester. Luck has been honored with many awards while at Penn State, including the John Sr. and Kimlyn Patishnock Grand Prize at the Penn State Undergraduate Research Exhibition in 2019, the Daniel R. Tershak Memorial Scholarship in Molecular and Cell Biology in 2018, the Eberly College of Science Undergraduate Research Support Award in 2018, an Evan Pugh Scholar Senior Award in 2018, and membership in the Phi Kappa Phi Society in 2018.

“I am extremely proud to be following in the footsteps of my brother, Josh Bram,

who was a student marshal for the Eberly College of Science in spring 2016,” said Luck.

While at Penn State, Luck was involved in two research projects in the Llinás lab, which studies the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The first project aimed to identify interactions between two in-development antimalarial drugs to help inform their suitability as partner drugs in a combination therapy. In collaboration with other members of the lab, Luck’s second project investigated how growing the parasite with different lipid supplements impacts its metabolism and ability to be transmitted. In addition to his research with Llinás, Luck also conducted research with Lewis Chodosh at the University of Pennsylvania and with Blaine Bartholomew at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Luck worked with Teaching Professor of Biology Kim Nelson as a learning assistant for her courses, BIOL 222 Genetics and BIOL 322 Genetic Analysis, from 2018 to 2020. In addition to his academic achievements, Luck was a member of Science LionPride, a student ambassador group for the college, from 2016 to 2019. He participated in the Penn State Speech and Debate Society from 2017 to 2019 and League Club at Penn State from 2019 to 2020. Luck also volunteered his time as a high school debate team coach and judge from 2016 to 2018.

“My time at Penn State taught me that there is a home out there for you if you look for it,” said Luck. “I spent much of my freshman fall frustrated and lacking a sense of belonging before venturing out and finding extracurriculars that I was passionate about. Even in my junior and senior years I was, and still am, finding new hobbies that I could explore at Penn State. Always be on the lookout for things that excite you!”

After graduation, Luck will pursue a Ph.D. in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program at the University of California, San Francisco.

Luck, a graduate of State College Area High School in State College, Pennsylvania, will celebrate virtual commencement with his mother, Ann Taylor ‘17g; his father, Jeff Luck; his brother, Josh Bram ‘16; his stepfather, Marty Gutowski ‘91g; his half-father, Barry Bram; his half-mother, Laura Perry; and his grandparents, Betsy and Ted Taylor.