Junior Mark Walker and sophomore Madelyn Crawford were named Goldwater Scholars in spring 2011. The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships are awarded yearly to sophomores and juniors pursuing careers in mathematics, natural science, or engineering research. This year, 275 scholars were chosen from a pool of almost 1,100 nominees. In order to compete for a Goldwater Scholarship, students must be nominated by their college or university. As a four-year institution, the University of Tennessee is allowed to nominate up to four students each year.
“Each year we continue to receive applications from students with more research experience than the candidates from the previous year, making it increasingly difficult for students to earn the university’s nomination, much less be recognized nationally. But the success of our students is solid evidence that the undergraduates at the University of Tennessee can successfully compete with those from institutions like Harvard, which also had three Goldwater Scholars this year,” said Rebekah Page, Assistant Director of the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships.
Madelyn Crawford, a biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology major, has been doing research in Dr. Jeff Becker’s microbiology lab since spring of her freshman year. After completing her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. A member of the Chancellor’s Honors and Haslam Scholars Programs, Madelyn competed in this year’s EUReCA competition and serves on the editorial board of Pursuit: The Journal of Undergraduate Research at the University of Tennessee.
Mark Walker, a nuclear engineering major, is a member of the Chancellor’s Honors and Haslam Scholars Programs. He has been actively researching in his field at the Oak Ridge National Lab since the summer after his freshman year. He also had an internship with the Department of Energy in Washington D.C. last summer. Mark’s most current research at ORNL involves nuclear safeguards, and he hopes to continue research as well as pursue policy development in nuclear security after earning his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering.
Britta Johnson, a Chancellor’s Honors Program student was also selected as a recipient of the prestigious award. All three students agree that their undergraduate research experiences have greatly enhanced their educational experience at UT and influenced their post-graduate plans.