LAWRENCE — Four University of Kansas students who have been actively involved in undergraduate research during their university careers are competing for Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, regarded as the premier undergraduate award to encourage excellence in science, engineering and mathematics.
The students' applications are coordinated by the Office of Fellowships in Undergraduate Studies.
- Emily Boyd, a junior from Moran majoring in chemistry
- Cara Davis, a junior from Wichita majoring in chemistry
- Joseph Loomis, a junior from Pratt majoring in chemistry and biochemistry
- Zachary Wood, a junior from Eureka, Missouri, majoring in chemistry and minoring in mathematics.
Sixty-two KU students have received Goldwater scholarships since they first were awarded in 1989. Congress established the program in 1986 in tribute to the retired U.S. senator from Arizona and to ensure a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers.
The Goldwater Foundation trustees will announce the 2018 winners in late March. The scholarships cover eligible expenses for undergraduate tuition, fees, books and room and board, up $7,500 annually. Each year the trustees award about 250 scholarships and 300 honorable mentions. The number of scholarships to be awarded per state will depend on the number and qualifications of the nominees from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and, considered as a single entity, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Only sophomore- and junior-level students with outstanding academic records, significant research experience and high potential for careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering were eligible for nomination. Nominees submitted applications that included essays related to the nominee’s career goals and three faculty recommendations. The campus nomination committee is chaired by Mikhail Barybin, professor of chemistry. Students interested in applying next year should contact campus representative Anne Wallen, program director for the Office of Fellowships.
All the nominees are members of the University Honors Program. Brief descriptions of their research experience and career plans follow.
Emily Boyd is the daughter of Mark Boyd and Patti Miklos Boyd of Moran. A graduate of Marmaton Valley High School, Boyd is preparing for a career researching environmentally beneficial catalysis. She works in the lab of Assistant Professor James Blakemore in the Department of Chemistry, researching organometallic chemistry and catalysis. She has presented her work at a regional meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and will present this month at the ACS national meeting.
Cara Davis is the daughter of Daniel Davis of Wichita. A graduate of Wichita High School East, Davis is planning a career researching protein structure and dynamics. Davis currently works in the lab of Professor Audrey Lamb in the Department of Molecular Biosciences. She was previously selected for the competitive Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE) program. She has given several presentations on her research as a K-INBRE Scholar, both locally and nationally.
Joseph Loomis is the son of Ted and Linda Loomis of Pratt. A graduate of Pratt High School, Loomis is planning a career researching the molecular mechanism of neurodegenerative disease. He joined the lab of Associate Professor Michael Johnson in the chemistry department the summer after he graduated from high school. A scholar in the Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE), Loomis has presented at regional professional conferences and at the 254th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.
Zachary Wood is the son of Anne Wood and Charles Wood of Eureka, Missouri. A graduate of Eureka High School, Wood intends to focus on the design of environmentally friendly functional materials in his research career. He works in the lab of Professor Mikhail Barybin in the chemistry department researching the design of electron-rich compounds that may serve as highly conductive molecular rectifiers. Wood has presented at several local and regional conferences and two national meetings of the American Chemical Society.