Oberlin College has had a banner year in the Goldwater Scholarship competition: four Oberlin students—the maximum number that can be nominated from one school—have been named Goldwater Scholars for the 2005-06 academic year. The Goldwater Scholarship is the most prestigious undergraduate award of its kind in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.
The students—Loren Andreas '06, Leslie Dowell '06, Wendy Everett '07, and Hugh Churchill '06—were among 320 winners selected from an applicant pool of 1,091 undergraduates in a rigorous screening process that scrutinized their research experience and career objectives.
"We had a strong group of nominees this year," says Associate Professor of Chemistry Manish Mehta, the faculty representative for the Goldwater Scholarship program. "That Oberlin was one of the few institutions to make a clean sweep in this competition really says something about the College's science division."
This year, Oberlin was one of only a handful of colleges and universities to have all four of its nominees receive Goldwater Scholarships. Others included Harvard University, Pomona College, Princeton University, and the University of Chicago. Oberlin students also swept the competition in 2003, topping the College's previous high of three Goldwater recipients in 2000.
"Every year this competition becomes more difficult, so having four students from any one school receive this award is truly an extraordinary feat," says Gerald Smith, president of the Barry M. Goldwater Foundation.
Goldwater Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit from a pool of students nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities. The one- and two-year scholarships are awarded to sophomores and juniors and cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board for up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
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 of service 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.