Rhodes juniors Katie Hatstat and Preston Tunnell Wilson are among 260 sophomores and juniors nationwide who have been selected as Goldwater Scholars for the 2015-2016 academic year. Established by Congress in 1986 to honor Barry M. Goldwater, a five-term United States senator, the Goldwater Foundation provides scholarships to highly qualified college students who intend to pursue careers in science, mathematics, and engineering. Students cannot apply for the scholarship, but rather must be nominated by their institutions. Sumner Magruder, a Rhodes neuroscience major from St. Louis, Mo., was awarded an Honorable Mention.
A chemistry and neuroscience double major from Parker, CO, Hatstat has been conducting research since her first year at Rhodes with Prof. Mauricio Cafiero of the Department of Chemistry. In the spring of 2014, she won an outstanding presentation prize at a local chemistry conference and an undergraduate poster award at the national level. In addition, Hatstat is a Rhodes Diplomat and a resident advisor; plays on the women’s soccer team; works as a chemistry peer-tutor; and is a member of Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honor Society. She graduated from Arapahoe High School in Colorado. Her career goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in pharmacology or neuropharmacology in order to conduct government or industry research focused on drug development and mechanisms of drug action.
Tunnell Wilson, a mathematics and computer science major from Denton, TX, has worked with Prof. Betsy Williams on her virtual environment project and has studied abroad in Budapest with a focus on mathematics and computer science. In addition, he is involved in the French, math, and computer science clubs at Rhodes and plays on the men’s tennis team. A graduate of Ryan High School in Texas, Tunnell Wilson also has been a technology intern for Southwest Airlines. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in computer science theory, conduct research, and one day teach at the university level.
“The vast number of research opportunities afforded to the students here at Rhodes has provided them with an excellent background to be highly competitive for this scholarship,” says Dr. Larryn Peterson, assistant professor of chemistry at Rhodes and the Goldwater faculty representative. “Both Katie and Preston have shown a tremendous amount of drive and initiative and are very deserving of this honor.”