Lauren Beach (’12) Named One of "Ten Outstanding Young Americans" by U.S. Jaycees
APRIL 11, 2014—It may be the only honor that has been shared by Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy, and Richard Nixon—not to mention Bill Clinton, Orson Welles, Dick Cheney, and Susan Butcher. Now Lauren Beach, a 2012 graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School and a current Ph.D. candidate at the University, has joined this distinguished and eclectic group, having been named to the United States Junior Chamber's 2014 list of the 10 men and women under age 40 "who best exemplify the highest attributes of the nation's emerging generation."
"Since the beginning of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans program, the U.S. Jaycees have recognized young men and women who are truly dedicated to the world around them," said Fay Poissant, president. "Each class of winners represents the best of the best in a variety of categories, but they are all bound by one common belief: that service to humanity is the best work of life. I have no doubt that the 2014 recipients will continue to create positive change through their selflessness and willingness to create sustainable solutions in their communities."
As a student in the University of Minnesota's Joint Degree Program in Law, Health, and the Life Sciences, Beach earned a J.D. with a health law and bioethics concentration while simultaneously working in Dr. Louis Mansky's lab, investigating HIV drug development and resistance and the molecular evolution of retroviruses. Mansky, who heads the University's Institute for Molecular Virology, was Beach's Ph.D. advisor; she recently completed her thesis—for which she researched how anti-cancer drugs previously unknown to have anti-viral activity can also inhibit HIV replication—and expects to do her thesis defense this spring or summer. While pursuing her studies at the University, Beach also served as director or board member for four HIV- and LGBT-related nonprofit organizations in the Twin Cities.
"I am honored to be named one of the United States Jaycees' 2014 Ten Outstanding Young Americans," Beach said. "Winning this award reflects the excellent academic and leadership training I received from the University of Minnesota and Michigan State University [Beach's undergraduate alma mater]. It also reflects the support LGBTQIA and bisexual communities and organizations have given me, locally and nationally. I am extremely thankful to the key mentors in my life who have helped me succeed."
Beach and her fellow honorees will be fêted at the Jaycees' 76th annual black-tie awards ceremony, to be held June 28 in Linthicum Heights, Md.