Two MHC Students Earn Goldwater Scholarships

Posted: April 10, 2006

Josephine Giles '07 and Caitlin Scott '07 are among this year's winners of the coveted Goldwater Scholarship. Now in its eighteenth year, the scholarship program honoring Senator Barry M. 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. Both students will receive a substantial financial reward in their senior year.

Giles, a resident of Houston, Texas, has been doing immunology research with Sharon Stranford, assistant professor of biology, and plans to study immunology at the doctoral level. Stranford; Craig Woodard, associate professor of biology; and Jeff Knight, associate professor and chair of biology, supported Giles's application. "I was completely surprised and very excited to be named a 2006 Goldwater Scholar," said Giles. "I was awarded the Goldwater because I've been working in a great lab [Sharon Stranford's], in a strong department, in a leading school. Katya King helped so much pulling all of that together in the application process, knowing the work that had to be done on a significant scholarship application while all my schoolwork had to be done. She was very professional and very compassionate."

Scott, from Moraga, California, works with Maria Gomez, assistant professor of chemistry. She is planning graduate work in computational chemistry. Gomez; Wei Chen, associate professor of chemistry; and Jennifer van Wijngaarden, visiting assistant professor of chemistry, wrote in support of her application. "I am very pleased that I could be nominated with other such outstanding students," Scott said. "I appreciate the support of my Mount Holyoke professors who have always encouraged me to accomplish things that I had not originally considered attempting. The faculty members truly care about their students."

Giles and Scott continue what has become a tradition of Mount Holyoke's success in this competition. MHC had two Goldwater Scholars last year and one the year before that. "I am confident that we are capable of producing one or more Goldwater Scholars each year," said Katya King, assistant director of fellowships at the Career Development Center. Our two winning students are in good company: Harvard, Yale, Amherst, Wellesley, and UMass-Amherst also won two Goldwaters apiece this year.

Related Link:

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships