Katie Greenberg ’09 Wins Gates Scholarship

Posted: February 17, 2009

Katie Greenberg ’09 has been awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue a master of philosophy degree in physics at the University of Cambridge next year. Greenberg is one of 37 American students to receive the award, out of an applicant pool of 752.

Greenberg, a physics major, is completing a senior thesis studying vertical cavity surface- emitting lasers in the lab of Janice Hudgings, associate professor and chair of physics.

In 2007 she won a Goldwater Scholarship to support her undergraduate research. She was also awarded a Churchill Fellowship and was a finalist for a Fulbright Fellowship this year, but declined them in order to accept the Gates.

Continuing with her laser research, Greenberg will be working with Professor Sir Richard Friend, knighted for his work in physics, on a project to create more efficient polymer LEDs by improving the charge-injecting layers. These polymer LEDs have applications ranging from flexible flat panel displays to lighting. In the long term, the research is intended to lead to a polymer injection laser.

Greenberg is thrilled and thankful for the opportunity to study at Cambridge. “I think it’s going to be the time of my life. I’ll grow a lot and bring a lot home with me.” She is especially excited by the international environment at Cambridge. “I’m looking forward to meeting and working with people from all over the world.”

After her year at Cambridge, Greenberg plans to return to the U.S. and pursue a Ph. D. in physics. Her ultimate goal is to become a professor. “I love teaching and research and I hope to be able to combine those two.”

Greenberg is grateful to Katya King, Career Development Center (CDC) associate director; David Gardner, dean of prehealth programs; Kim Parent, CDC fellowships advisor; and Hudgings and Kathy Aidala, Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Physics, for their help and support. “I couldn’t have done it without them,” she said.

Greenberg is the third Mount Holyoke student to win a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. Maile Martinez '03 was the first, in 2005, after two years in Teach for America; Lindsay Chura '06 was the second, in 2008, after completing a Fulbright Fellowship in Australia.

Related Links:

Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Career Development Office

Physics at MHC