Dedication, drive and discipline

Hard work pays off for Johnson Cancer Research Center scholarship recipients

For Tanner Richie, microbiology graduate student, being a recipient of a Johnson Cancer Research Center (JCRC) scholarship allows her to carry out the center’s vital work in combating and finding a solution to cancer. “Receiving the Graduate Cancer Research Award from the Johnson Cancer Research Center was a wonderful opportunity for me to focus on my research and include new experiments for my project,” said Tanner. “Not only did it take pressure off of me — I didn’t have to worry about funding and the status of my project — it also accelerated my research to be more interdisciplinary and hopefully more meaningful once it is complete.”

The scholarship has alleviated a lot of stress for Tanner. “Because of this scholarship, I was able to solely work on my research by conducting experiments and gathering data, which will ease my load in the fall semester,” Tanner said. “Also, I have met and collaborated with other Johnson Cancer Research Center labs in regard to my research and for mentorship to grow and excel in academia.”

Tanner isn’t the only K-State student to benefit from Johnson Cancer Research Center scholarships. Dryden Baumfalk, doctoral student in kinesiology, is very grateful for the many times the Johnson Cancer Research Center scholarships have assisted him. “I have received JCRC scholarships a few times now. Each time it has meant the world to me as it allows me to solely focus on my current projects instead of seeking additional employment over the summer,” said Dryden. “This is really impactful for those of us who teach during the academic year because it allows me to conduct whole day experiments that can be very hard to schedule otherwise”

Dryden was able to accomplish many great things thanks to the scholarships. “Through the years they have allowed me to collect a wide range of data leading to publications, preliminary grant data, and conference abstracts/presentations,” Dryden said. “Aside from the Graduate Cancer Research Award program, they have also helped me get to those conferences via JCRC Travel Awards covering some of the costs associated with travel/registration fees.”

Philanthropy is a huge contributor to the success of the Johnson Cancer Research Center and its scholarships. “Gifts to the JCRC make it possible for us to provide seed grants and graduate student funding for the most promising cancer research projects at K-State, many of which result in national funding leading to important discoveries,” said Marcia Locke, communications, marketing, and outreach coordinator for the Johnson Cancer Research Center.

Sherry Fleming, director of the Johnson Cancer Research Center and professor of biology, stressed the importance philanthropy has on the center’s success. “We are grateful for the many friends whose donations fund K-State’s most promising cancer research programs and student trainees,” Fleming said. “These gifts, large and small, make a big difference to graduate students and frequently help faculty obtain sizeable extramural grants.”

You can support the work and cutting-edge research at Johnson Cancer Research Center by visiting

By James Dalton Burton

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