John K. Golden and Samuel T. Harrold Win 2008 Goldwater Scholarships

March 29, 2008

University of Rochester Physics sophomore John K. Golden and junior Samuel T. Harrold have been named 2008 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars, one of the most prestigious awards available to undergraduates in this country.

The Goldwater Scholarship, which is endowed by the U.S. Congress to honor the late Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, is designed to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields.

Both recipients of the award have demonstrated an interest and commitment to research by participating in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), which is funded by the National Science Foundation to support highly qualified students to undertake supervised research projects in the summer.

Sophomore John K.  Golden (class of 2010) is earning a BS in Physics and a BA in Mathematics. John is the Social Coordinator and a member of the Society of Physics Students and won the 2007 Iota Book Award. Currently, he is doing research with Profs. Nicholas Bigelow and Sarada Rajeev.Junior Samuel T. Harrold (class of 2009) is earning a BS in Physics and a BS in Mathematics. He is the Secretary and a member of the Society of Physics Students, and in 2007, he won a Department of Energy National Undergraduate Fellowship in Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy Sciences. Currently, he is doing research with Professor Dan Watson.

Since 2002, 17 University students have been named Goldwater Scholars. The scholarship is worth up to $7,500. Sophomore winners receive funding for two years, while junior winners receive funding for their senior year. Each year, 10 to 20 sophomores and juniors compete for the four University nominations to the national Goldwater competition. This year, 1,093 students were nominated for a scholarship.

Applicants must rank in the top quartile of their class while demonstrating outstanding research skills and potential for advanced study in their fields as well as a strong commitment to pursuing research-oriented careers. The average grade point average of Goldwater Scholars is about 3.8 to 4.0 and most scholars go on to obtain doctorate degrees.

Previous winners of the prestigious award include the following students from the Department of Physics and Astronomy:

  • Kristin M. Beck (class of 2009) - BS Physics, BA Mathematics
  • Stephen Privitera (class of 2007) - BS Physics, BA Mathematics
  • Robert F. Penna (class of 2007) - BS Physics, Honors BA Mathematics
  • Zhuohan Liang (class of 2005) - BS Physics, BS Mathematics, minor Philosophy
  • Sarah Zubairy (class of 2004) - BS Mathematics, minor economics/Physics
  • Jason Nordhaus (class of 2003) - BS Physics, BA Mathematics
  • David Etlinger (class of 2003) - BA Physics, BA Mathematics; minor, Music