University Student Trustee Christina Henke, recently named one of Glamour magazine's top 10 college women, said she has just gone through the most hectic time of her entire college career."
Henke, who will serve as the College of Science student marshal during commencement, has earned her bachelor's degree in biochemistry in three years while maintaining a perfect 4.0 average.
Henke, a member of the University Scholars Program who entered the University with 52 advanced placement credits, has conducted research on gene splicing as a part of University professor Allen T. Phillip's project since her freshman year. Their work will be published soon in a scientific journal.
She also has published poems in the books, Lucidity and Vision of Verse.
Because people often think of scientists as mad scientists" locked in labs, they have not always understood her desire to do non-scientific activities such as writing poetry, she said.
People often wonder how I do it and often think I'm insane," she said.
Henke said she would like to work in oncology, a branch of medicine dealing with tumors, and in cancer research.
I've always felt that was something that needed to be looked at ... it seemed like a challenge with a lot of rewards," said Henke, who has seen many of her relatives die from cancer.
Eventually, she said she sees herself working as the head of an established cancer research institute or working to found an institute of her own. She said she would like to find an independent way of doing research instead of being a professor at a university.
Henke said of all her accomplishments, she is most proud of the Glamour award because it went beyond being a good scientist" and took her whole personality into account.
Henke was chosen because of her extensive involvement in campus leadership, as well as overall leadership, excellence in academics and extra-curricular activities.
Glamour is arranging for each of the winners to meet with top people in their field during a week in New York City June 20. For this reason, Henke -- who will be the subject of a feature article in the magazine's August issue -- said she does not mind the fashion-oriented image that the magazine projects.
There was no male competition for the award, but Henke said that did not influence her decision to enter. She said she has never been afraid of competing in a man's world" and has welcomed their competition.
Henke also said she feels she has never been discriminated against as a woman scientist.
Henke said her friendship with Jean Brenchley, former head of the biochemistr y department, has helped her.
She said Brenchley is the type of person who likes to get overinvolved. She is an excellent scientist and administrator and is also a very warm person to talk to," Henke said. It's been good to have her around in the department to talk to."
Henke was appointed to the University Board of Trustees in 1987 by Gov. Robert P. Casey and holds a seat on the University Student Executive Council.
Henke will hold her trustee seat for two more years while she starts graduate work at the University.