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Ashwin Rastogi to receive elite Goldwater scholarship

Kelly Hallinger and Ashwin RastogiKelly Hallinger and Ashwin Rastogi, students at the College of William and Mary, have been named 2007-08 Goldwater Scholars. They are among 317 U.S. sophomores and juniors recognized by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

The one- and two-year Goldwater scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. A third William and Mary student, Dan Zabransky, received an Honorable Mention from the Goldwater Foundation.

Kelly Hallinger is a sophomore biology major from Lancaster, Pa. She has been studying the effect of mercury contamination on the songs of birds of the Shenandoah Valley, working with Associate Professor Dan Cristol of the biology department. Kelly began research as a freshman at William and Mary, operating a mass spectrometer in the chemistry lab of Associate Professor J.C. Poutsma. Her career goal is to earn a Ph.D. in applied ornithology, then to teach at the university level and conduct research, with particular emphasis on conservation biology and ecotoxicology.

Ashwin Rastogi is a junior from Fairfax, Va. He is a junior math/physics major, working with Christopher Carone, Class of 1963 Associate Professor of Physics, on a project involving particle physics. The work is aimed at constructing a mathematical model for unifying two of the fundamental forces of nature: electromagnetism and the weak force. His career goal is to get a Ph.D. in theoretical or mathematical physics and to “conduct research that will make a meaningful contribution to the modern theories and understanding of physics at an academic institution.”

Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,110 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Congress in 1986. The scholarship program honors Senator Barry M. Goldwater and was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.

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