Three Arts & Sciences juniors have recently been awarded prestigious national scholarships, with a fourth receiving an honorable mention.
Two students received the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and one student received the Morris K. Udall Scholarship for the 2011-12 academic year.
Winners of the Goldwater Scholarship are Alex G. Anderson, a mathematics and physics major, and Suchita Rastogi, a biology major on the molecular biology and biochemistry track.
Martin Y. Fan, a junior chemistry major, received honorable mention in the Goldwater competition.
Adam R. Hasz, an environmental studies and urban studies major, won the Udall Scholarship.
“I believe the success of our students in winning these extremely competitive national awards is really grounded in the excellent faculty mentoring each of these students has received from very early on in their undergraduate careers,” says Joy Z. Kiefer, PhD, assistant dean in the College of Arts & Sciences and associate director of the Office of Undergraduate Research.
“This in-depth faculty mentoring is a hallmark of the undergraduate experience here at Washington University, and I am very happy to have us represented so well on the national stage,” says Kiefer, the campus fellowship adviser for current students and recent alumni interested in competitive fellowship and scholarship programs.
The Goldwater Scholarship 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.
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 275 scholarships for the 2011-2012 academic year, selecting recipients on the basis of academic merit from a pool of 1,095 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.
The Udall Scholarship program is administered by the Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Foundation.
A total of 80 Udall Scholars were selected from 510 candidates nominated by 231 colleges and universities. This prestigious scholarship has generated 1,234 Udall Scholars since the first awards in 1996.
Anderson plans to pursue a doctoral degree and a career in physics research within an academic institution. A recent area of research with Carl Bender, PhD, the Wilfred R. and Ann Lee Konneker Distinguished Professor of Physics in Arts & Sciences, focused on the extension of classical mechanics into the complex domain. They co-authored a paper together that is under review.
Anderson’s current research area concerns asymptotic methods and perturbation theory, based on Bender’s book Advanced Mathematical Methods for Scientists and Engineers.
He was in the Department of Biology’s inaugural Phage Hunters class (Bio 191/192) in 2008, a yearlong research course for freshmen in which they isolate and characterize novel phages — viruses that infect bacteria. He and 12 others in that class were co-authors of a journal article on their research.
Anderson, an Arthur Holly Compton Fellowship recipient and a Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity member, has been an academic mentor in physics, calculus and math at Cornerstone: The Center for Advanced Learning. Last summer, he was the primary instructor for an advanced geometry class at the AwesomeMath Summer Program.
As a member of the Putnam Math Club, Anderson was part of a three-member team in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematics Competition this academic year that placed 19th out of 442 teams from 546 colleges and universities. Individual performances also are ranked, and Anderson earned an honorable mention with a rank of 56.5. His three-member team in the annual Missouri Collegiate Mathematics Competition took third place this year and first place last year.
In 2008, Anderson won a Robert N. Varney Prize, awarded to the best student or students in the Washington University introductory physics course.
Rastogi plans to pursue an MD/PhD degree and perform bench-to-bedside research to integrate basic biochemistry and medicine, ideally with a special focus in oncology or immunology. She also wants to teach biochemistry at the undergraduate or medical school level.
Her goal is to significantly improve the treatment regimes for molecular diseases by elucidating their biochemical mechanisms. Rastogi’s research focuses on germline stem cell development and the cells’ decision to either proliferate or to enter meiosis.
Her research mentor is Tim B. Schedl, PhD, professor of genetics in the School of Medicine.
Her first student research experience also was through the Department of Biology’s Phage Hunters course.
On campus, Rastogi served as a team leader for Chemistry Peer-Led Team Learning, winning the outstanding team leader award, and as a teaching assistant for both introductory biology courses. She was also a member of the Washington University Concert Choir.
Fan plans to pursue an MD/PhD degree in molecular and cell biology. He hopes to help develop new approaches for disease diagnosis and treatment, such as biomarker analysis and immunotherapy, and to teach in a university setting.
Fan’s current research, with Daniel S. Ory, MD, professor of medicine and of cell biology and physiology, focuses on screening mouse tissue samples for biomarkers of Niemann-Pick Type C disease.
He was a member of the first Phage Hunters course as well.
Fan, an American Chemical Society Outstanding Junior Chemistry Student Award recipient, serves as an academic mentor in organic chemistry at Cornerstone and volunteers at the Saint Louis Science Center.
Hasz plans to pursue advanced degrees in urban planning and social systems modeling. He aspires to be a community organizer, urban planner and social innovator who works to create resilient communities, catalyze sustainable urban development, and generate the political will necessary to adequately confront global climate change.
A Florence Moog Fellowship in the Biological Sciences recipient, Hasz is a member of the university’s Pathfinder Program, a four-year educational experience researching environmental sustainability.
He has been involved with a variety of groups on campus and within the St. Louis community, serving as a grassroots organizer with the 1Sky campaign and the Sierra Student Coalition.
Hasz is the former president of WUSTL’s Green Action student group and the former vice president of the Missouri Student Environmental Coalition. He studied in India as part of the “System Dynamics Winter Institute” class of Gautam Yadama, PhD, associate professor of social work, and he is currently studying in Washington, D.C.