A 2014 Raymond W. Sarber Award has been presented to Kara Hardwick, undergraduate student, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, South Carolina. This award, established in honor of Raymond W. Sarber for his contributions to the growth and advancement of ASM, recognizes students at the undergraduate and predoctoral levels for excellence in research and potential.
Hardwick was exposed to the biomedical sciences through a summer undergraduate research project with Kim Wilson at Winthrop University. She fell in love with microbiology during her first microbiology class, finding it a subject that truly broadened her perspective and exposed her to many fascinating topics.
In November 2012, Hardwick began an innovative research project in the field of conservation medicine. This new field combines ecological, animal, and human health to allow a comprehensive approach to issues. Hardwick’s research aims to understand the origins of disease in the United States by determining if there is a link between introduced species and disease outbreaks in human and animals. Hardwick’s mentor, Matthew Heard says, “This project, in essence, is the highest quality research I have ever seen out of an undergraduate and is only being completed because of Kara’s tremendous abilities and dedication.” Although relatively new to research, Hardwick eagerly looks forward to gaining more experience and is in the process of applying to various Microbiology and Infectious Disease programs around the country.