Jacqueline Ihnat, St. Louis, has been selected as one of 12 Cherng Summer Scholars within the Honors College at the University of Missouri. This program provides $8,000 to selected undergraduate students to fund research projects or artistic endeavors during a 10-week summer course. Ihnat is one of the first student researchers in the program.
“The Cherng Summer Scholars program is one of Mizzou’s most competitive research or artistry positions,” said J.D. Bowers, director of the MU Honors College. “The application is extremely rigorous, and the most important criteria are the level of success demonstrated by the student’s involvement in prior projects and the potential for the student’s proposed project to result in a pathbreaking outcome—a new discovery, new information, or providing a new expression through artistry.”
As a Cherng Summer Scholar, Ihnat will be studying the role of specialized cells in muscle regeneration and how they interact with muscle fibers. The faculty mentor for her research project is Dawn Cornelison, an associate professor of biological sciences and an investigator in MU’s Bond Life Sciences Center.
“The MU Honors College always has been a national leader in providing high-achieving students with opportunities to enhance and develop their strengths,” Bowers said. “The Cherngs’ generosity will allow this prestigious group of summer scholars to develop as future leaders.”
Ihnat is a senior at Mizzou. She is majoring in business management with a minor in Spanish. She also is earning a multicultural certificate with the Honors College. Additionally, Ihnat is involved in Rock Steady, an organization that uses boxing as a therapy for Parkinson’s disease. Her parents are Denise Kung and Richard Ihnat.
Cherng Summer Scholars is one of the new programs at Mizzou supported by the Panda Charitable Foundation led by Andrew and Peggy Cherng, Mizzou alumni and founders of Panda Express. The Cherngs recently gave a $1.5 million gift to the MU Honors College to support scholarships, programs and study abroad opportunities for high-achieving students. The Honors College at Mizzou has a current enrollment of approximately 2,550 students, an alumni base of nearly 11,000, almost 200 unique courses offered every year, more than 160 active faculty, and more than $1.6 million in endowed scholarships.