April 7, 2011

Students Win Goldwater Scholarships

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Randall Meyer ’12 and Rachel Perlman ’12 won 2011 Goldwater Scholarships last month, an honor that recognizes outstanding undergraduate achievements in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering.

1,095 students applied for this year’s 275 available scholarships, according to a press release from the Goldwater Scholarship Program. Meyer and Perlman are among 51 Cornell students who have received the award since 1991.

Meyer, a biological engineering major and Hunter R. Rawlings II Cornell Presidential Research Scholar, studies a virus responsible for the death of a large number of fish in the Great Lakes, according to the University.

Meyer served as a teaching assistant for BEE 2600: Principles of Biological Engineering and BEE 1510: Introduction to Computer Programming, according to the University. Outside of class, Meyer is a member of Into the Streets and the Digital Gamer Alliance.

Meyer acknowledged the people who helped him achieve the award.

“I felt incredible. Not only was I able to win this prestigious award, but I was able to honor those who have supported me in my academic career,” Meyer said in an email. “The best part of this success is being able to share it with my family, friends and professors.”

Meyer remained humble.

“I can’t say exactly why I was chosen,” he said. “There are so many people out there equally as qualified as I am.”

Perlman, a natural and environmental systems major, is also a Rawlings Research Scholar. Her previous research projects include the investigation of sand temperatures in relation to sea turtle survival in Costa Rica.

“It’s very exciting to receive national recognition for work I’ve put into the field of environmental science and the related research I’ve been doing all throughout college. The Goldwater is a very competitive scholarship, so I certainly feel honored,” Perlman said in an email.

Since its first award in 1989, the Foundation has bestowed more than 6,600 scholarships, worth approximately fifty million dollars, according to the Goldwater Program’s 2011 recipient press release.

Additionally, the release stated that the Goldwater Scholarship Program plans to increase the number of scholarships by more than double in the 2012-2013 academic year.

To be eligible for the scholarship, an applicant must be a college sophomore or junior who either has a grade point average higher than a B or is in the top 25 percent of their class, according to the Goldwater Scholarship’s website.

Most of the 2011 winners were in science-related fields, with only 24 mathematics majors, 52 engineering majors and 5 computer science majors in the pool of selected recipients, according to the scholarship’s website. 25 of the 2011 scholarships were granted to students from New York state.

Original Author: Kayla DeLeon