Neuroscience students awarded Peter Zornes memorial scholarship

L-R, Department Chair, Dr. Shane Hentges, Peyton Burpee, Rashi Karda, and associate dean for undergraduate education, Dr. Sam Gizerian.
L-R, department chair, Dr. Shane Hentges, Peyton Burpee, Rashi Karda, and associate dean for undergraduate education, Dr. Sam Gizerian.

Neuroscience students Peyton Burpee and Rashi Karda, both aspiring physicians, were awarded the Peter A. Zornes Memorial Neuroscience Scholarship on April 5, 2024.

The scholarship, intended to benefit exemplary undergraduate neuroscience students like its namesake, was established by the Zornes family to honor the memory of Peter Zornes, of Oakesdale, Washington, who was killed two years after graduating cum laude in 2003 from Washington State University.

The scholarship has benefited undergraduates in the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine’s

Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience program since 2008.

“It means so much, not only financially, of course, that’s great and helps out a ton, but it’s not just about that, you know? It’s the recognition that someone is seeing my drive and what I want to do, someone’s recognizing my hard work. And not only am I being recognized, but I also get to kind of represent the neuroscience department here at WSU,” Burpee said. “I’m so grateful to the Zornes family.”

For Karda, the scholarship is also much more than money.

“Receiving the Peter A. Zornes Memorial Neuroscience Scholarship is truly an honor and means a lot to me,” she said. “Beyond the financial support it provides, I am particularly excited about the opportunities this scholarship offers for building connections within the neuroscience community. I am grateful for the opportunity it provides to further my education and pursue my interests in neuroscience.”

The scholarship is funded in part by the annual Peter Zornes Memorial Golf Tournament, which is held every summer at the Colfax Golf Course and Country Club in Colfax, Washington. This year the Zornes Memorial Golf Tournament will be held July 13.

Burpee, with interests in neurology and pediatrics, and has been pre-accepted into the WSU College of Medicine. Karda anticipates graduating in the fall of 2025 and plans to attend medical school to pursue a career as a neurosurgeon.

Both scholarship recipients are involved in ongoing neuroscience research and serve as undergraduate research assistants. Karda works in Dr. Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe’s neuropsychology and aging lab, where she assists the Electronic Memory and Management Aid application study.

The study is meant to measure the app’s efficacy in supporting memory in everyday functions.

Burpee works in Dr. Ryan McLaughlin’s laboratory assisting on studies that examine the effects of cannabis on specific brain regions.

He said being recognized with the scholarship is an opportunity to represent the McLaughlin Lab and the neuroscience program at WSU.

“Just carrying on Peter’s legacy when it comes to his endeavors and his research, it’s an incredible honor,” Burpee said.