Northern Arizona University recently learned it is one of 15 universities nationwide designated to receive 2008 Beckman Scholars Program undergraduate awards from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.

“Looking at the list of universities that are getting awards, we are in good company,” said Edwin Lewis, a chemistry professor and associate dean for Research in NAU’s College of Engineering and Natural Sciences.

This is the third time NAU has received Beckman Scholars Program designation. Lewis expects to announce the university’s five 2008 Beckman Scholars in May.

Georgetown University, Boston University, Vanderbilt University and the Georgia Institute of Technology also are receiving awards, which will result in 79 undergraduates throughout the country becoming Beckman Scholars.

Lewis said NAU will receive $96,500 for five Beckman Scholarships made payable over a three-year term of the award, beginning in the summer. Each student named as a Beckman Scholar will receive $19,300 over one academic year and two summers.

About 15 NAU mentors will assist the students while in the program.

“This designation will help us sustain in-depth, undergraduate research experiences and comprehensive faculty mentoring,” Lewis said.

Established in 1997, the Beckman Scholars Program is an invited program for accredited universities and four-year U.S. colleges. The foundation provides scholarships to help advance the education, research training and personal development of select students in chemistry, biochemistry and the biological and medical sciences.

Information about the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation is online.