Two Syracuse University students receive prestigious Goldwater Scholarships
Two Syracuse University students receive prestigious Goldwater ScholarshipsApril 16, 2008Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
Thomas Stewart and Gavin Hartnett, both juniors in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences and in the Renee Crown University Honors Program, have been awarded prestigious 2008 Goldwater Scholarships. Goldwater Scholars are selected annually on the basis of academic merit from colleges and universities across the United States. This year, 321 students received the scholarships out of 1,035 nominations in the fields of mathematics, natural science, engineering and computer science.
Stewart, a biology major, and Hartnett, a dual physics and mathematics major, have been actively involved in undergraduate research experiences throughout their SU academic careers; both plan to pursue advanced degrees in their respective majors.
Stewart’s current research, part of his Honors Program capstone project, is focused on describing skeletal differences in African scale-eating cichlids, a type of fish that survives by eating the scales of other fish. He is working with R. Craig Albertson, assistant professor of biology, who studies the evolution and development of bone structures of various fish species. Stewart interned at Cornell University’s Biological Field Station on Oneida Lake, studying the effect of invasive zebra and quagga mussels on tiny shrimp-like organisms in the Finger Lakes. He studied at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Biological Field Station, working on a number of research projects, and he conducted field research while studying abroad in Costa Rica. He plans to pursue a doctoral degree in ecology and evolutionary biology.
Hartnett has worked on numerous undergraduate research projects, including a theoretical cosmology project with Alumni Professor of Physics Mark Trodden and a research project in condensed matter with physics professors Mark Bowick and M. Cristina Marchetti, chair of SU’s Department of Physics. Hartnett also helped analyze data for the LIGO Gravitational Wave project with Martin J. Pomerantz Professor of Physics Peter Saulson. Hartnett used audio mixing software to listen to gravitational wave data with the hope of recognizing patterns or irregularities that had escaped other forms of data analysis. The data was collected at the national Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatories (LIGO) in Hanford, Wash., and Livingston, La. Hartnett plans to pursue a doctoral degree in physics.
Established in 1986 and administered by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, the scholarship program is 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. The scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.