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William & Mary has 3 Goldwater Scholars

  • Honorees
    Honorees
    William & Mary students (from left) David Hill, Natalie Wong and Brian Rabe were named 2012 Goldwater Scholars. Goldwater scholarships are awarded to around 300 of America's top undergraduates in STEM majors. Scholars receive support of up to $7,500 per year.
    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

It’s more than money. Just ask David Hill ’13, Brian Rabe ’13 and Natalie Wong ’14, the 2012 Goldwater Scholars from the College of William & Mary. In addition to the three scholars, James Janopaul-Naylor ’14 was awarded a Goldwater honorable mention.

"We’ve had 54 Goldwater scholars selected from William & Mary since the program began in 1989," noted Lisa Grimes, director of fellowships and undergraduate research and associate director of the Roy R. Charles Center. "It’s the premier undergraduate award for math and science majors. Goldwater Scholars tend to excel in other national scholarship competitions and go on to the best graduate programs in the country."

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships were established in 1986 in honor of the former U.S. Senator. The one- and two-year scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to $7,500 per year for a maximum of two years.. This year, a total of 282 scholarships were awarded from a field of 1,123 applicants.

“The award will certainly speak to future admission committees and employers,” says Natalie Wong, who is currently pursuing her undergraduate research on solar cell efficiency. “My career path may be undetermined, but I know that it will embody the hard work and scientific curiosity that characterizes Goldwater Scholars.”

Rabe said Chancellor Professor of Biology Margaret Saha encouraged him to apply for the scholarship. Saha and Rabe have been working together in the lab since the spring of Rabe’s freshman year. Rabe is pursuing a career path to become a university professor, and says that a scholarship like the Goldwater, which focuses on students involved in research in the sciences, is the perfect enhancement of for such a pursuit.

Hill first heard about the scholarship from Associate Professor Elizabeth Harbron, the chemistry department’s representative for Goldwater Scholarships. Each department in the math and sciences has a faculty representative to the Charles Center, who recruits students and assist in the application process.

"I see this as an investment," says Hill. "This scholarship is more than money; it is the chance to engage with some of the most brilliant minds of the day on the biggest problems facing our nation and our world."