International Student Camila Wendorff Earns Prestigious Biotechnology Scholarship

International Student Camila Wendorff Earns Prestigious Biotechnology Scholarship

Nov 17, 2020

FSU international student Camila Wendorff '21 is the recipient of the 1st ever Henri A. Termeer Student Scholarship, awarded by The Termeer Foundation and the Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd).

Wendorff's family used much of their savings to obtain a visa to get her to the United States in 2016. She worked for two years as an au pair in Wellesley, improving her English language skills while planning to go to college. She ended up enrolling in MassBay Community College's biotechnology program.

"I knew community college was more affordable and I had met people who spent two years earning an associate's degree, before transferring to a university to earn a bachelor's degree," she says.

That's exactly the path Wendorff has taken, enrolling at FSU in fall 2020, after establishing herself as an excellent scholar and a mentor to her peers in the field of biotechnology. Wendorff discovered her passion for science watching her mom work as a nurse in Brazil. Her focus turned to medical research after he grandmother was diagnosed with cancer.  

"It's personal for me," she says. "I want to be involved in cancer research."

Wendorff was honored during the 5th annual Champions for Biotechnology Education Awards Reception on November 18th. The $2,500 Henri A. Termeer Student Scholarship is named in honor of the former CEO of Genzyme.

"I am delighted to recognize the accomplishments of Camila Wendorff as the 2020 recipient of the Henri A. Termeer scholarship," said Belinda Termeer, Chair and Co-Founder of The Termeer Foundation. "My late husband, Henri Termeer, understood the need to support and encourage those young scientists who would provide the scientific knowledge and leadership that may lead to future research discoveries and medical breakthroughs.  This award, in conjunction with the work of MassBio Ed, offers a deserving junior scientist the opportunity to pursue their academic goals and a career in the life science industry."

"Camila has refused to let anything prevent her from pursuing her dreams," added Framingham State University President F. Javier Cevallos. "The entire FSU community is proud to see her receive this well-deserved honor."

Wendorff says living in the United States away from her family during a pandemic has been a major challenge. But she's determined to achieve her goals.

"I don't know when I'm going to be able to see my family again," she says. "But they have sacrificed a lot to get me here. I am thankful for how much they trust me, and I hope to be able to afford a good life for them as they grow older."

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.