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USU students awarded Goldwater scholarships

Published April 5, 2011 12:35 pm

Education • The awards are for science, math undergraduates.
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Three Utah State University students have won the nation's most prestigious scholarship for undergraduate science students, while a fourth student earned an honorable mention.

Physics majors Linsey Johnson and Brian Tracy and biochemistry major Brooke Siler are recipients of the award administered by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, named for the late Arizona senator and 1964 presidential candidate.

"Our students' fantastic showing in this year's competition demonstrates the commitment of our faculty to give students exceptional opportunities to get involved in hands-on research very early in their academic careers," said a news release quoting Christie Fox, director of USU's Honors program.

Under a program set up by Congress in 1986, the award, which carries a $7,500 scholarship, is reserved for sophomores and juniors who show exceptional achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. They are expected to pursue doctorates in these so-called STEM fields.

Johnson, of Payson, wants to teach science; Siler, of Logan, intends to pursue a career in neuroscience; and Tracy, of Highland, wants an academic career in theoretical materials physics. They are among 275 who won the scholarship this year. USU now claims 18 Goldwater Scholars and seven honorable mention recipients.

Also winning this year were Brigham Young University's Ronald Daly, of California, and Dustin Gerrard, of Wyoming. Honorable mentions include BYU's Thomas Hardin and Lauren Richey; University of Utah's Jessica Faith Johnston and Patrick Loftus; USU's Karen Nielson, of Las Vegas; and Kathryn Ellen Pavia, a Utahn who attends Wellesley College in Massachusetts.