November 17, 2016

AbbVie Proud of Our National Merit Scholars

We are pleased to participate in the National Merit Scholarship Program to recognize outstanding high school students of our employees' families.
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Laura Judge plays the French horn and plans a career in molecular biology. Vincent Gulliver intends to major in journalism and marketing. Haiwen Liu is studying computer science at Carnegie Mellon University and is passionate about the environment.

These are three of the 10 students of AbbVie and Pharmacyclics (an AbbVie Company) employees’ families who are attending colleges and universities with a lightened financial burden as a result of $2,500 National Merit scholarships. 

“The scholarship was such a vote of confidence in my potential and an investment in my future,” says Laura Judge, now a first-year student at Brigham Young University. Laura’s father, Russell Judge, is a principle research scientist in structural biology at AbbVie. “I’m so grateful to be able to use this scholarship to pursue my love of science,” Laura Judge says.

Without having to worry so much about earning money to pay for school, Laura Judge was able to take a class called “Phage Hunters,” where she learned to work in a lab and isolate bacteriophages to help eliminate a bacterial disease. “It was an educational and fascinating opportunity that was made possible because of my scholarship,” she says.

The winning students were chosen by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) based on their PSAT®/NMSQT  (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) scores and several academic and other requirements. 

For Vincent Gulliver, the son of Cherri Michelle Miner, vice president, global medical affairs, specialty products at AbbVie, the National Merit scholarship is helping to pay for a study abroad program.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Vincent says. “In our connected world, it’s imperative to understand business from a global perspective, and what a great opportunity for personal growth it is to connect with others from different cultures and walks of life.”

Haiwen Liu, daughter of Zhihong Liu, scientist, drug discovery, oncology at AbbVie, and Danying Song, scientist, biochemistry at AbbVie, expects the scholarship will improve her academic performance. Haiwen Liu is taking a full load of electives and computer science classes at Carnegie Mellon University, and says the scholarship “will help me focus on learning, which is the most important thing.”

The scholarship process is rigorous, according to Sara Burson, Sponsor Services manager, NMSC. “To qualify, the semifinalist must have an academic record of very high performance, be endorsed by the high school, take a confirming SAT® exam and submit a complete academic record with extracurricular accomplishments, interests and goals,” she says. AbbVie has no involvement in application process or the selection of student scholarships. 

In many cases, the young scholarship recipients are pursuing careers in math, science, information technology, biology and engineering as some of their parents have done with great success.

AbbVie Global Philanthropy is proud to support the academic achievements of the National Merit Scholars.


   Laura Judge

   Vincent Gulliver

   Haiwen Liu