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Scholarship winner to study biomedical optics in China

Biomedical engineering major Margaret Cron assists with Professor Ronald Xu's research on imaging and therapy to the retina structures of the eye.Biomedical engineering major Margaret Cron assists with Professor Ronald Xu's research on imaging and therapy to the retina structures of the eye.Buckeye engineer Margaret Cron will be researching biomedical optics in China this summer, thanks to the 2014 Paul Anthony Bonenfant Memorial Scholarship she received on behalf of the Optical Society (OSA).

Cron, a third-year biomedical engineering major, was honored in late February with the $8,000 scholarship from the OSA Foundation. She will use the money to fund her research in biomedical optics for six weeks at the University of Science and Technology in China.

“This scholarship will further my engineering education because it will advance my research experience,” Cron said. “It has already given me the opportunity to meet and learn from other graduate students and professors. Performing research in China will allow me to learn more within the biomedical optics field from many other students and professionals.”

Cron conducts research under Ronald Xu, associate professor of biomedical engineering and ophthalmology. Their work on imaging and therapy to the retina structures of the eye and developing technology to simulate retina structure and properties will be used for calibration and standardization of ocular imaging devices.  

While in China, Cron will document her experience in an online blog accessible through the OSA Foundation’s website, as required by the scholarship.

“Margaret is an impressive student and the work she plans to do in China will have lasting impacts in the field of ocular imaging,” said Michael Morris, OSA Foundation board chair. “She will undoubtedly make lifelong connections during her time there, exemplifying the purpose of the scholarship program. We look forward to following her experiences through her blog posts.”

The annual scholarship enables undergraduate students enrolled in engineering or physical science programs to attend semester-abroad programs to gain international experience to help prepare for professional lives that promote global engagement and collaboration. 

Applications for the award are judged by the scholarship’s committee on a combination of academic achievement, financial need, and demonstrated interest in optics-related research and applications.

Cron is excited about the opportunities the research will afford her.

“I was looking for an opportunity to travel abroad and obtain valuable research experience. I am excited that I will be traveling to China because I wanted to be immersed in a culture that I don't know much about. I am also looking forward to the food!” she said. 

Written by Karlie Frank