Cristina Ghenoiu ’04’s academic resume is an impressive one: After graduating from Mount Holyoke with a degree in biochemistry, she went on to graduate studies in chromosome and cell biology at Cornell, and she is currently conducting Ph.D. lab work at Rockefeller University. Given all of her success in American classrooms, she was recently honored as the Best Romanian Student Abroad of the Year for 2010.
She received the prize, which was awarded by the League of Romanian Students Abroad—an organization that promotes the achievements of Romanian students studying elsewhere in hopes of facilitating their eventual return to Romania—at a ceremony in Romania earlier this month.
“I am very honored to receive this distinction from the League of Romanian Students, which I very much admire,” Ghenoiu said. “I am also extremely happy my work is appreciated by my home country and that my family can better understand the things I've been doing since I left home. The award represents a great opportunity to become more involved with Romanian society back home and with Romanian communities abroad.”
While the ceremony honored students in several different categories, the prize jury awarded Ghenoiu the grand prize for her entire activity abroad. The jury comprised Romanian academics, including the president of the Romanian Academy--the highest institution for science and culture in Romania--politicians and business people.
Since leaving Mount Holyoke, where she worked as a lab assistant for associate professor of chemistry Maria Gomez, Ghenoiu has helped author five scientific publications including one that was recently published in the prestigious journal Science. She has also received the du Vigneaud Prize of Excellence for an oral presentation at Cornell and the Anderson Cancer Center Prize for the best poster at Rockefeller.
Undoubtedly, my Mount Holyoke education and the wonderful faculty in the biology, chemistry, and biochemistry departments at MHC provided me with the knowledge and the confidence I needed to pursue scientific research,” Ghenoiu said. “I couldn't have asked for a better college experience, both intellectually and emotionally, and I hope to make my alma mater proud."