Prestigious national scholarships awarded to four undergraduates

Four Arts & Sciences undergraduates have been awarded prestigious national scholarships, including three students receiving the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and one receiving the Morris K. Udall Scholarship for the 2010-11 academic year.

The Goldwater winners are junior Adeetee Bhide, majoring in biology in Arts & Sciences; junior Robert Perkins, majoring in physics and chemistry, both in Arts & Sciences; and junior Timothy Wiser, majoring in physics and mathematics, both in Arts & Sciences.

The Udall winner is sophomore Akhila Narla, majoring in environmental studies in Arts & Sciences.

“We could not be more proud of these students,” says Joy Kiefer, assistant dean in the College of Arts & Sciences. “The university was only allowed to nominate four students to the Goldwater Scholarship national competition, so to have three winners, plus a Udall Scholarship winner, is a very impressive achievement, both for the students and the university.”

The Goldwater is considered one of the most prestigious awards for undergraduates planning careers in the sciences, engineering or math. It covers as much as $7,500 annually toward tuition, fees and books in their junior or senior year.

“I’m very pleased to have won the Goldwater,” Wiser says. “It’s a great honor to be considered among the top undergraduate students in my field.”

Perkins agreed. “Doing research at Washington University has been a great experience, and I’m grateful to the university for offering research opportunities to their undergraduates,” Perkins says.

“It’s an incredible honor to have been chosen since I know how many other worthy candidates there were around the nation,” Bhide says.

The U.S. Congress established the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation in 1986 to honor Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, who served in the U.S. Senate for 30 years.

The Goldwater foundation, a federally endowed agency, awarded 278 scholarships for the 2010-2011 academic year, selecting recipients on the basis of academic merit from a pool of 1,111 undergraduate sophomores and juniors nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.

Udall scholarships are granted to those who demonstrate a commitment to fields related to the environment or to Native American or native Alaskan students in fields related to health care and tribal public policy.

It covers tuition, fees, books and room and board to a maximum of $5,000 per year.

The U.S. Congress established the Morris K. Udall Foundation in 1992 to honor Morris K. Udall, who served in the House of Representatives for 30 years.

“I was pleasantly surprised to receive the scholarship, especially considering the fact that there or so many amazing people out there engaging in really meaningful work,” Narla says. “This recognition definitely attests to the wonderful support, mentorship and opportunities made possible by being here at the university, and I look forward to networking with the Udall community as I continue to work in this field.”

The Udall scholarship program is administered by the Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Foundation.

A total of 80 2010 Udall Scholars were selected from among a record 537 candidates nominated by 256 colleges and universities. This prestigious scholarship has generated 1,155 Udall Scholars since the first awards in 1996.