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Juniors Win Goldwater Scholarships

 

Three Oberlin College juniors have been named Goldwater Scholars for the 2006-07 academic year, and a fourth has received an honorable mention. The Goldwater Scholarship is the most prestigious undergraduate award of its kind in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.

The students—Andrew Bartholomew ‘07, Tymoteusz Kajstura ’07, Daniel Hemberger ’07, and W. Christopher Boyd ’07—were among 323 winners selected from an applicant pool of 1,081 undergraduates from colleges and universities across the nation. Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of their academic research and career objectives.

“This year we had four outstanding nominees for the Goldwater Scholarship in diverse areas of the sciences and mathematics,” says Emeritus Professor of Chemistry Norman Craig, the faculty representative for the Goldwater Scholarship Program. “To have three scholarships and one honorable mention in this heady competition speaks well of an Oberlin education. The campus selection committee is very proud of our four scholars.”

Last year, four Oberlin students—the maximum number that can be nominated from one school—received Goldwater Scholarships. Oberlin students also made a clean sweep in 2003, topping the College’s previous record of three Goldwater recipients in 2000.

“Oberlin College has a fine track record in this competition,” says Gerald Smith, president of the Barry M. Goldwater Foundation. “We’ve been in business for 18 years, and in that time Oberlin students have received 25 scholarships. That is truly top-notch scholarship.”

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years in the U.S. Senate. The purpose of the Goldwater Foundation is 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.

Andrew Bartholomew ’07
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Majors: Computer Science and East Asian Studies
Project Title: “Advancing Scientific Research through a Background in Computer Science”
Project Goal: To model the behavior of Filamentous temperature sensitive protein Z (FtsZ), a protein in bacterial cells that facilitates cell division, by designing stochastic simulations of protein-protein interactions to build and dissolve polymers.Bartholomew used the resulting information to establish that the simulated data corresponded to traditional models as well as to experimental data. This research was conducted with Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Neuroscience Peter Thomas and Assistant Professor of Biology Laura Romberg. The results will be presented at the annual  meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco.
Future Plans: Bartholomew plans to attend graduate school in computer science and to continue studying Japanese.

Tymoteusz Kajstura ’07
Hometown: Ossining, New York
Majors: Neuroscience and Biology
Project Titles: 1)“Nuclear Targeting of Akt Enhances Ventricular and Myocyte Contractility” and 2) “Quantification of Pectate Lyase Expression in Lateral Root Emergence”
Project Goals: 1) To study protein kinase B (Akt), which activates survival factors in the nucleus to prevent heart muscle cell death. This research was conducted at the Cardiovascular Research Institute (CRI) of the New York Medical College, under the supervision of Professor Piero Anversa, a professor of medicine and the director of the CRI.  2) To identify the mechanism of lateral root emergence in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana.The project, on which Kajstura worked with Assistant Professor of Biology Marta Laskowski, involved analyzing pectate lyases, a protein family that may allow lateral roots to grow out of main roots in plants.
Future Plans: Kajstura plans to pursue an MD/PhD in neuroscience or cardiology. He hopes to combine patient care and medical research in his career. He also wants to provide health care to people who lack easy access to doctors through work with organizations such as Doctors without Borders.

Daniel Hemberger ’07
Hometown: Reading, Pennsylvania
Major: Physics
Project Title: “Motivation and Method: Undoing the Interstellar Scattering of Pulsar Signals”
Project Goal: To develop a procedure that corrects interstellar scattering of pulsar "lighthouse" beams at low radio frequencies and allows scientists to measure more accurately the time at which a beam sweeps past the earth. Hemberger plans to travel with Federighi Professor of Physics and Astronomy Daniel Stinebring to the Netherlands, where he will collect data from a new radio telescope (LOFAR, the Low Frequency Array) and continue this research as his senior honors project.
Future Plans: Hemberger hopes to bring intuitive physical interpretation to mathematics and mathematical precision and rigor to physics.

W. Christopher Boyd ’07 (Honorable Mention)
Hometown: Ithaca, New York
Major: Chemistry
Project Title: “Mechanistic Photochemistry of the Oxyallyl System”
Project Goal: To synthesize compounds that may lead to the development of stable oxyallyl radicals. Boyd bombarded these synthetic molecules with light to induce the formation of reactive intermediates and studied the subsequent bonding of these intermediates via infrared spectroscopy.This research was conducted in the laboratory of Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Albert Matlin. Boyd and Matlin recently presented the results of this research to scientists at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis.
Future Plans: Boyd plans to teach and do research in the areas of synthetic and physical organic chemistry.


 


Andrew Bartholomew '07


Tymoteusz Kajstura '07


Daniel Hemberger '07

W. Christopher Boyd '07

    
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