Two St. Thomas students win coveted Goldwater Scholarships
The University of St. Thomas continues its streak of multiple winners of prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships for the 2008-2009 academic year.
St. Thomas juniors – both biology majors – Maria Hindt from Ames, Iowa, and Katherine Theisen from Elko, Minn. – will receive the $7,500 scholarships.
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Sen. Barry M. Goldwater (R.- Ariz.), who had served 30 years in the U.S. Senate. The program was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.
This year's 321 Goldwater scholars – 132 women and 189 men – were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,035 students nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. Virtually all intend to obtain Ph.D. degrees. Thirty-three scholars are mathematics majors, 227 are majoring in science and related fields, 52 are majoring in engineering, and nine are computer science majors. Many of the scholars have dual majors in disciplines combining mathematics, science, engineering and computer science.
Dr. Kevin Theissen, UST assistant professor of geology who is St. Thomas' liaison to the Goldwater program, shared the following biosketches of St. Thomas' new Goldwater scholars:
- Maria Hindt has done research under the direction of
Dr. Jennifer Cruise of the Biology Department in
St. Thomas' College of Arts and Sciences. Her research essay was titled "Promoter Characterization of a Possible Tumor Suppressor Gene, rap1.” Hindt has a strong interest in a biological research career and plans to continue her studies of cellular and molecular biology in graduate school. She aspires to a research career in cancer biology and hopes to teach at the university level.
- Katherine Theisen has done research under the direction of Dr. Adam Kay and Dr. Maurine Neiman of the Biology Department in St. Thomas' College of Arts and Sciences. Her research essay was titled "Investigating the Ecological Factors That Contribute to the Maintenance of Sex." She plans to attend medical school and would like to teach some day, too. She said she hopes she can apply "evolutionary principles to basic science questions of medical relevance." She also is a talented distance runner.
St. Thomas' other nominees for the scholarships were chemistry students Jordan Crow and Lanita Gaworski.
Recent Goldwater scholars have been awarded 70 Rhodes Scholarships, 94 Marshall Awards (eight of the 40 awarded in the United States this year) and numerous other prestigious fellowships. Since 1998, 15 St. Thomas students have received Goldwater Scholarships.
St. Thomas was the only Minnesota school with more than one Goldwater awardee this year; the state's other colleges and universities with winners for 2008-2009 are the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, St. Olaf College, Concordia College-Moorhead and Carleton College.
In addition to Theisen, 12 other students from Minnesota won Goldwater Scholarships: Annelise Beck, Massachussets Institute of Technology; Jared Cregg, Michigan Technological University; Shannon Edd, Clemson University; Maria Ann Holland, University of Tulsa; Angela Holmberg, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; Ryosuke Kita, Northwestern University; Andrew Manion and Eric Riedl, University of Notre Dame; Paul Nichol, St. Olaf College; Emma Schlatter, Smith College; Eric Weber, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; and Robert Woodward, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Six other Minnesota students were scholarship finalists.
In its 20-year history, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation has awarded 5,523 scholarships worth approximately $54 million. Its trustees plan to award about 300 scholarships for the 2009-2010 academic year.
For more information about the Goldwater Scholarships, contact Theissen, (651) 962-5243.