Astronomy News

Astrophysics Student Receives Goldwater Scholarship

3/24/2014  8:00 am

University of Illinois undergraduate Sean McLaughlin has been awarded a 2014 Goldwater Scholarship.  Sean is an Engineering Physics major and intends to pursue a PhD in Computation Astrophysics.  He is currently working on a research project with Prof. Robert Brunner in the Department of Astronomy on searches for strong gravitational lenses.

The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,166 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. Two hundred and eighty-three scholarships were awarded for the 2014-2015 academic year: 172 of the Scholars are men, 111 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their degree objective. Twenty-two Scholars are mathematics majors, 191 are science and related majors, 63 are majoring in engineering, and 7 are computer science majors. Many of the Scholars have dual majors in a variety of mathematics, science, engineering, and computer disciplines.

The one and two year scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

Goldwater Scholars have very impressive academic qualifications that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs. Recent Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 80 Rhodes Scholarships, 117 Marshall Awards, 112 Churchill Scholarships, and numerous other distinguished fellowships such as the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships.

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 7,163 scholarships worth approximately 46 million dollars. The Trustees plan to award about three hundred scholarships for the 2015–2016 academic year.

For official information on the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, visit their website.