Meet the 2022 Scholars

Get to know the hopes, dreams, and talents of this year's winners.

Emma B.

Undergraduate Recipient

"2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the AbbVie CF Scholarship. As we celebrate this milestone, we look forward to continuing to recognize more students pursing their educational goals. Please share your future ambitions in the Cystic Fibrosis community, professionally and personally."

If anyone asked me in second grade what I wanted to do with my life, they would’ve heard astronaut or ballet dancer. In middle school the answer would’ve been author and writer. After 6th grade, my life took a different trajectory. I still had deep interests in writing, but my perspective on life had shifted and I was gaining new interests in science and biology. That was a dramatic shift, but a life-altering disease diagnosis will tend to do that to people. When I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis in 6th grade, a new world was opened up to me, with words I didn’t quite understand, like “mutated gene” and “progressive illness”. I felt as if the body I occupied wasn’t quite mine anymore. How could it be, when there was so much about myself I didn’t even know existed? As I grew up, I grew into my disease. I learned the terminology, the statistics, and the biology. My disability has affected my life in many ways, and taught me the meaning of personal responsibility. I’ve learned how to take care of myself, and gained a passion for helping others in the process. I am a senior at Michigan State University studying genomics and molecular genetics, with minors in bioethics and women’s studies. Ever since high school, I knew what I wanted to do with my life: become a CF researcher. I just had to figure out the steps to get there. Getting a degree in genomics seemed like a good start. Being at MSU has allowed me to get involved in so many meaningful things. One of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had is being involved in the Council of Students with Disabilities. I am currently serving as the president of CSD, and have had the privilege of getting involved in numerous advocacy initiatives here at Michigan State. This year CSD is working on getting sharps containers into public spaces to make them accessible for all people who need them. Attending the meetings for CSD has been so meaningful as well, because I get to interact with people who struggle with some of the same things I do, and work with people who are as motivated as me to make a difference for students with disabilities. Another meaningful experience I’ve had at MSU is working in a research lab that studies CF. It is my career goal to study cystic fibrosis, so being able to work in a lab that does just that has been so impactful for me. I’m not just dreaming of doing research for CF, I’m doing it. Recently, a new drug has been approved for patients with CF, and not only have I been able to start taking this drug, I have also been able to work in a lab that studies the long term effects of this drug in CF communities. I am sure more than ever this research is what I want my future to be, effecting positive change for my community.

Emma B.'s Artwork

Emma B.'s Achievements

  • Squad Leader in the Spartan Marching Band 2018-Present
  • President of Council of Students with Disabilities 2019-Present
  • Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for Molecular Biology 2020-Present
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant for Cystic Fibrosis Microbiome Research 2021-Present
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant for EEE virus transmission 2022-Present
  • Member of Tower Guard, Sophomore Honors Organization at MSU 2019-2020
  • STATE Program Tutor for organic chemistry and biology 2020-2021