Grace Coughlin earns Top Ten Scholar honors … again!

Jerome Pollos Photography photo

After graduating Bonners Ferry High School in 2017, she went on to Boise State University to study Biology with a Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Emphasis. On May 8, she will graduate, but before that, on May 6, Grace Coughlin, the daughter of Ann Coughlin, Bonners Ferry, will be recognized for the second time as a Top Ten Scholar.

Grace Coughlin, INBRE, Biochemistry Studio portrait by Priscilla Grover

She earned the distinction at BFHS in 2017, and she’s done it again in 2021 as she graduates BSU with honors.

Presented by the Boise State Alumni Association and Boise State Honors College, from which she is graduating with a cumulative GPA of 3.96, having received Dean’s List High Honors one semester and Dean’s List Highest Honors, with a perfect 4.0 GPA, six times.

“I am very grateful for my childhood in Bonners Ferry and for the support of my community,” Grace said. “The transition to Boise State was much easier thanks to the encouragement I received growing up, and I am forever grateful.”

That’s saying a lot. Adopted by a single mom in Bonners Ferry and moving to Bonners Ferry while in the first grade, Grace’s first big city experience was Boise.

Now, she aspires to become a doctor so as to practice medicine while improving healthcare access.

The Top Ten Scholars Award is one of the highest academic honors granted to a Boise State University undergraduate, and the awards recognize not only the student, but their honored faculty as well.

To qualify requires a minimum 3.8 GPA, but it’s not just grades. The breadth of a student’s coursework and the overall scope of their undergraduate career are considered in order to earn their dean’s nomination.

While at Boise State, Grace conducted medicinal chemistry research and presented her work at three conferences, co-authored a paper she’ll submit later this year and completed a final research project.

Grace Coughlin (right) with Brooke Wallace on graduation day at Bonners Ferry High School in 2017.

On Friday, April 23, you can tune in to a Zoom webinar from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Pacific time as she takes part with other top ten scholars in the undergraduate research showcase “Lightning Talk.”

Grace will give a three-minute presentation, “Metastatic Breast Cancer and Rheumatoid Arthritis and COVID-19, Oh My! Halting the Wicked Ways of an Inflammatory Cytokine,” a study about stopping the effects of a small signaling protein with small molecule drug inhibitors.

While a student in Boise, Grace has pursued various mentorship positions, volunteered at the Boise VA Medical Center and abroad in South Africa. Her service to others, she said, has been a humbling reminder that her actions can have a positive impact on those around her and led her toward the medical field.

Following graduating from Boise State with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, she’ll take a gap year in Boise and apply to medical schools.

She’d like to practice medicine in her community and abroad, modeling the virtues of integrity and empathy she picked up during her internship at Tadje Orthopaedics while aspiring to impact people’s lives by approaching her profession with kindness and understanding.

On May 6, she’ll be honored along with fellow BSU Top Ten Scholars Kate Carter-Cram, Eagle, Idaho, Sierra Kistler, Wasilla, Alaska, Mia Klopfenstein, Meridian, Idaho, Karla Magana, Rigby, Idaho, Sophia Mitchell, Eugene, Oregon, ShaKayla Moran, Boise, Julianne Mori, Boise, Olivia Thomas, Boise, and Jason Ward.

The event will be virtual, and those who’d like to attend can sign up to receive an invitation here.

“I’m excited to graduate,” Grace said, “but I will miss Boise State. My advice to students at Bonners Ferry High School would be to follow your interests and take advantage of your opportunities. You never know where your curiosity will take you!”