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Three Columbia Students Win Goldwater Scholarships

Friday, March 30, 2012

Three Columbia College juniors are among the 282 winners of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships announced this week. Woo Chang Chung ’13, Adam Formica ’13 and Katharina Shaw ’13 each will receive up to $7,500 toward the cost of their tuition and other college fees from their senior years.

The scholarships, established by Congress in 1986 to honor Goldwater, aim to provide the U.S. with a continuing source of scientists, mathematicians and engineers by awarding scholarships to students who plan to pursue careers in these fields.

Chung, who is majoring in both mathematics and physics, plans to pursue a Ph.D. in physics and eventually teach at the university level and conduct research in condensed matter. Formica, a major in environmental science with a concentration in economics, plans to pursue a Ph.D. in ecosystem ecology and eventually teach at the university level; his research interests are arctic and alpine ecosystems. Shaw, who is majoring in biochemistry, intends to pursue a joint M.D./Ph.D. and eventually teach at the university level and conduct research in medicinal chemistry.

Columbia nominees are selected by a committee comprised of faculty from a variety of disciplines across the sciences, mathematics, and engineering.  According to Dean of Undergraduate Global Programs Michael Pippenger, “the Goldwater Foundation limits the number of candidates each institution can nominate to four, so the competition is quite keen even to become a nominee from Columbia.  We are very proud of this year’s winners.  They have already performed impressive research at an extremely high level, have in many cases co-authored papers and given presentations on their work.  We are thrilled at their success not just in this scholarship competition but in their chosen fields; they all have very bright futures ahead of them as research scientists of the highest caliber.”

Goldwater candidates are nominated by their colleges and universities and chosen on the basis of academic merit; the pool this year exceeded 1,100 candidates.

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