By Jim Lambert
Union Catholic’s Derek Ruiz-Webb received some great news recently when he was accepted to attend a very prestigious program at the W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars Institute.
Ruiz-Webb, a sophomore who lives in Edison, was chosen to the W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars Institute’s Accelerated Learning Academy-Medical Science Track, which will take place over three weekends at Princeton University. He also received a scholarship based on his academic merit.
“It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m very excited about it,’’ said Ruiz-Webb, who is a member of the cross-country and track and field teams at UC and volunteers a food pantry in Highland Park. “I like science and I like learning about it. I’m hoping to one day to be a geneticist, and I think this will help me move one step closer to my goal. And the scholarship I received was because of my academics, so this has made me realize just how important it is to do well in school.’’
The first workshop (Dec. 7-9) that Ruiz-Webb will attend will focus on proteins. From building amino acids to muscle, students will investigate a range of biological processes. They will also examine the intricacies of proteins, their versatility and importance in genetics.
The second workshop (March 1-3) will focus on biochemistry. Students will explore biology and chemistry, particularly the chemical processes related to living organisms. They will examine molecule structure and function, and learn how biochemistry has been providing advances in science for decades.
A clinical and translational science workshop (April 26-28) will complete the program. At this workshop, students will acquire the foundation for a broad understanding of scientific, medical and regulatory issues, and engage in team oriented projects involving communication and integration of different disciplinary backgrounds.
“I can’t wait to learn about all the different things that will be taught,’’ said Ruiz-Webb. “To be accepted into a program shows me how much all my hard work has paid off, and will push me to continue to keep working hard.’’’