Four Rochester Institute of Technology students have been named 2008 Goldwater Scholars. The prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship is the premier award for top undergraduate students interested in pursuing careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering. Virtually all winners intend to pursue a Ph.D.
Each year universities may nominate up to four students in their sophomore or junior year for the Goldwater Scholarship. In addition to RIT, only seven other universities—Vanderbilt University, Ohio State University, Penn State University, Creighton University, Louisiana State University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Washington University in St. Louis—had all four scholarship nominees elected as 2008 Goldwater Scholars.
Nicholas Battista from Alden, N.Y., Nathan Haseley from Lockport, N.Y., Jillian Lund from Oswego, N.Y., and Joshua Thomson from Alexandria Bay, N.Y. are among 321 students selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,035 undergraduates, nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. Each will receive a yearly $7,500 scholarship covering tuition, fees, books and room and board. In receiving the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, this year’s recipients join an elite group of young scholars. Many previous Goldwater winners have gone on to win Rhodes Scholarships and Marshall Awards as graduate students.
Battista, a junior double major in applied mathematics and physics, has been conducting research in RIT’s School of Mathematical Sciences and the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation. His research is currently focused on non-autonomous difference equations, spectral methods in numerical relativity, and post-Newtonian modeling. He plans to obtain a Ph.D. in applied mathematics or theoretical physics and pursue an academic career in numerical relativity. Battista holds an RIT Presidential Scholarship and a Briggs Endowed Scholarship, and he is an inductee of the Pi Mu Epsilon Honor Society.
Haseley, a junior bioinformatics major, has been conducting research in the virology laboratory since his freshman year, studying VSV and IFN-B. Additionally, Haseley has done summer research on HIV as a University of Rochester Summer Scholar and has presented his work at the Rochester Academy of Science. Haseley plans to obtain a Ph.D. in virology and pursue an academic career in the biomedical sciences. He holds several scholarships including an RIT presidential scholarship and is in both the RIT honors program and the research scholars program.
Lund, a junior biotechnology major, began her undergraduate research in 2006, studying the possible correlation between antibiotic use in agriculture and reservoirs of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the environment. She has presented her work at both the Rochester Academy of Science and the Western New York Bioscience Summit and has received a research grant from the Rochester Academy of Science. Jillian plans to obtain a Ph.D. in microbiology, immunology and virology and pursue an academic career in the biomedical sciences. Lund holds an RIT presidential scholarship, is in the RIT research scholars program, and has recently been named an RIT outstanding scholar.
Thomson, a sophomore biochemistry major, will receive $15,000 over the next two years and is the first sophomore from RIT to be designated a Goldwater Scholar. He has been conducting research in the biochemistry laboratory at RIT since the summer prior to his freshman year through RIT’s honors research program. Thomson’s research entails the characterization of potential novel antibiotic targets from M. tuberculosis. He has presented his research at a number of meetings including the annual meeting of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the national meeting of the American Chemical Society. He plans to obtain a Ph.D. in biochemistry and pursue an academic career in microbial biochemistry and infectious disease. Thomson holds RIT presidential and merit scholarships and is in the RIT honors program and the research scholars program.