Mercyhurst College has nominated two juniors with exemplary academic records in rigorous science courses for the national Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Competition.
Leanne Magestro and Devon Swanson will now compete on the basis of academic merit in mathematics, science, and engineering with a field of more than 1,000 nominees selected by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. The prestigious scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
Leanne is a biology major who plans to pursue a combined Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Ph.D. program. She would like to conduct field work in disease characterization, control and treatment.
Devon is a dual biochemistry/forensic science toxicology major who plans to pursue a Ph.D. in forensic chemistry. His career goals include researching new ways to characterize accelerants and analyzing controlled burns.
The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry M. Goldwater was designed to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.
Dr. Candee Chambers, director of the Prestigious Awards Program at Mercyhurst, announced the nominations. The Goldwater Scholarship Nomination Committee that reviewed the 2009 applicants included Dr. Steve Mauro of the biology department, Dr. Roger Griffiths of the mathematics department and Dr. Caroline Pharr of the chemistry department.
The Prestigious Awards Program, which had been dormant for several years, was revived this year and is designed to identify Mercyhurst students who will be strong candidates for national awards and to assist them through the application process.
The college issued its first endorsement of the academic year last fall, nominating Kallen Dearnbarger, a senior English and secondary education major, for the Davies-Jackson Scholarship Program.
Colleges and universities must be invited to nominate students for the highly competitive Davies-Jackson award. The foundation selects "liberal arts colleges and universities throughout the United States that are selective, yet less expensive and less elite institutions than the national private liberal arts colleges and universities. Eligible institutions have undergraduate enrollments of between 2,000 and 5,000 full-time equivalent students and educate a significant proportion of first-generation students." This fall, the organization invited President Dr. Thomas Gamble to nominate a student(s) for the first time.
Mercyhurst joined a list of more than 450 colleges and universities that may nominate students for this award. The scholarship is a full two years of tuition (valued at approximately $50,000) to pursue a graduate degree at St. John's College at University Cambridge. Student applicants must have exemplary academic records and other qualifications, and must be interested in one of the following areas of study: Archaeology and Anthropology, Classics, Economics, English, Geography, History, History of Art, Modern and Medieval Languages, Music, Philosophy, or Social and Political Sciences. Historically, not more than one scholarship is awarded annually.
Chambers said additional announcements can be expected in coming months as nominees are chosen for other prestigious award competitions.