Katims to receive 2013 Stalker Award


Andrew Katims has been selected to receive the 2013 Harrison D. Stalker Award, given each year by the Department of Biology in Arts & Sciences.

The prize is named in honor of the late Harrison D. Stalker, PhD, who was professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, a leading evolutionary biologist, geneticist and inspired teacher, and a true enthusiast of the fine arts.

The award is given to the graduating senior in biology whose undergraduate career is marked by outstanding scientific scholarship as well as contributions to the university in the areas of artistic expression, community service or both.

Katims will graduate this May with a major in biology and a minor in writing, both in Arts & Sciences. Katims’ academic achievements and community involvement exemplify the spirit of the Stalker Award.

As an undergraduate researcher, he worked in the Haswell Lab on an exploratory project focused on understanding the role of a mechanosensitive ion channel in pollen development. His experiments led to new insights on how this protein is involved in an important question in plant biology — how pollen cells germinate and find the egg cells during fertilization in the flower.

He also served as a teaching assistant in the “Introduction to Ecology” course in the biology department and as an intern with the Institute for School Partnership, where he worked on STEM education models and helping teachers to implement new learning approaches in the classroom.

The quality of his writing was recognized by membership in the English Honorary Society, and he is also an artist, sketching and painting in his free time.

Together with Shivani Rangwala, a senior majoring in biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science and neuroscience in Arts & Sciences, he founded the Washington University chapter of Timmy Global Health and served as its president.

As a leader in this program, which seeks to expand access to healthcare globally, he spearheaded fundraising and organization of a group of students and physicians for a trip to rural Ecuador through which 500 people received medical care.

Following graduation, Katims will be joining the MD/MPH program at the University of Miami.