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Hendrix College Senior Brings Home Presentation Award

WatsonFellow_SavannahWiegel_web.jpgCONWAY, Ark. (April 27, 2021) — Hendrix College student Savannah Wiegel ’21, a biochemistry/molecular biology major from London, Arkansas, has received an award for her presentation at the Southeastern Regional Yeast Meeting (SERYM), which was hosted by Vanderbilt University and held as a virtual conference on April 17, 2021. 

Wiegel was among a team of four who attended the meeting from Hendrix. Other attendees were students McKenzie Tucker ’22 and Shelby Worsham ’22, and Dr. Andrea Duina, a professor of biology who leads a National Science Foundation-supported project involving undergraduates in laboratory research that increases the scientific community’s understanding of life beginning at the cellular level.

At the meeting, Wiegel gave a 10-minute talk titled “Identifying factors required for RNA Polymerase II to overcome DNA-binding protein obstacles during transcription elongation.” She won an Outstanding Presentation award for her talk. 

Duina said that through her research funded by the NSF, Wiegel made important contributions toward the generation of a genetic system that will have the potential to elucidate fundamental aspects of how genes are utilized by living cells. “Savannah’s bright mind and passion for biology were in full display throughout her time in the lab, and I was so happy to see that her hard work and dedication to the project culminated in an award at this year’s Southeastern Regional Yeast Meeting,” he added.

Earlier this semester, Wiegel was announced as a member of the 53rd class of Thomas J. Watson Fellows. Her project will take her to Ireland, Switzerland, Japan, Guatemala, and Argentina, where she will explore the intersection of storytelling and medicine to inform public health initiatives. 

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit