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Johnson, Nikoloutsos named 2016 Beck Fellows

Cade Johnson, of Lumberton, and Nicolas Nikoloutsos, of Vidor, have been selected as 2016 recipients of the David J. Beck Fellowships, a competitive and generous award for Lamar University undergraduate students.

LU President Kenneth Evans will formally recognize Johnson, who is double majoring in biology and exercise and fitness management, and Nikoloutsos, an electrical engineering and physics major, as Beck Fellows at a ceremony on campus November 20.

The event also will include recognition of Beck Fellowship finalists Kelli Creel of Nederland, Progga Chirontoni of Rajshahi, Bangladesh, and Miroslava Zandejas of Baytown, as well as presentations by LU’s 2015 Beck Fellows, Kara Timberlake and William Shipp. The event will take place at 1:30 p.m. in the University Reception Center, 8th floor of LU’s Mary and John Gray Library.

The Beck Fellowship covers all expenses – including tuition, fees, books and on-campus room and board – for one year and includes up to $10,000 to pursue a summer project proposed as part of the application packet. First awarded in 2009, the fellowship is made possible by a generous gift from LU distinguished alumnus and prominent attorney David J. Beck, founding partner of Beck Redden LLP in Houston.

Johnson plans to pursue research in the oncology department at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine on Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He plans to join in ongoing studies of the specific functions and effects of chemotherapeutic drugs as well as the cancer itself.  

Nikoloutsos plans to perform research on experimental procedures in nanomedicine at the Academia Sinica, the top research institution of Taiwan. He will be working with leading researchers in bioengineering, and will participate in developing methods of drug delivery using nanoparticles and biomimetic approaches to create novel treatment methods.

Applicants for the David J. Beck Fellowships must be full-time LU undergraduates in any major with grade point averages of 3.5 or higher. Fellows are selected based on the strength of their complete application packet, including proposed summer project, academic record and financial need. Application packets are available late in the spring semester and must be submitted by Oct. 1 each year. For more information on the David J. Beck Fellowships, visit or call (409) 880-8400.