Chemical Engineering Junior Receives Prestigious Goldwater Scholarship
A University of Idaho engineering and science student has been selected to receive a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship through the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program.
U of I’s award recipient is Alyssa Ertel, a third-year Honors program student from Kennewick, Wash., majoring in chemical engineering in the College of Engineering and chemistry in the College of Science. Ertel is also president of U of I’s Society of Women Engineers Chapter, and a member of the DeVlieg Innovation design team, which will present at the Engineering Design EXPO at the end of April.
“Becoming a Goldwater Scholar became a dream of mine when I realized that I could make a difference through research,” Ertel said. “It’s truly an honor, and I feel incredibly lucky to be surrounded by faculty members and peers that encouraged and inspired me to achieve my goals.”
“Alyssa exemplifies the best qualities of our students — not only is she an outstanding student, but she is a thoughtful person who wants to make a difference,” said Joe Law, associate dean of undergraduates for the College of Engineering. “We are very proud of Alyssa’s undergraduate achievements and look forward to her future accomplishments.”
Electrical engineering and physics student Phillip Kearns, a junior from Lake Oswego, Oregon, and also member of the Honors program, received an honorable mention from the Goldwater program.
“I'm thrilled to have received an honorable mention,” Kearns said. “I'm fortunate to have an amazing network of mentors, professors, and friends who helped me through the application process, and I think that this distinction is a testament to all of their support.”
For the 2016-17 academic year, the scholarships are being awarded to 252 students, selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of more than 1,150 nominees nationwide. The one- and two-year scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board, up to $7,500 per year.
“We’re very proud of the quality of work done by our students, particularly in research opportunities. Alyssa and Phillip provide excellent examples of what U of I students can do,” said Mark Nielsen, associate dean of the College of Science.
Goldwater Scholars have very impressive academic qualifications that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs. Recent Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 86 Rhodes Scholarships, 125 Marshall Awards, 134 Churchill Scholarships, and numerous other distinguished fellowships such as the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships.
Over the last 10 years, 11 students from U of I have received Goldwater Scholarships.
The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on November 14, 1986. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.
Since its first award in 1989, the Foundation has bestowed 7,680 scholarships worth approximately 48 million dollars. The Trustees plan to award about two hundred sixty scholarships for the 2017–2018 academic year.
Article by Rob Patton, College of Engineering