April 1, 2014
Chemistry and mathematics major Stephanie Sanders, ’15, was recently awarded a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for Excellence in Education for the 2014-15 academic year. She is one of 286 science, mathematics and engineering students selected from among 1,166 applicants nationally and one of just six from Michigan.
The award will cover up to $7,500 of Sanders' tuition and related expenses during the 2014-15 school year. "It's really exciting to have this honor," said Sanders. "It will help me stand out in graduate school applications."
A 2013 Goldwater semifinalist, Sanders credits the culmination of two full years of research—and getting her work published—with pushing her to finalist status this year. "This year, I'm co-author on two publications and a third paper is in review," Sanders noted.
Nearing the end of her junior year, Sanders has compiled an impressive list of accomplishments. With Albion College chemistry professor Kevin Metz and other students, Sanders has participated in research at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and is co-author on a nanoparticle research paper. At Albion, she assisted Metz in developing a nanoparticle-based experiment for use in high school chemistry education. She participated in a selective summer research program at the University of Wisconsin and participated in the Budapest, Hungary Semester in Mathematics during the fall of 2013.
Sanders plans to spend the fall of 2014 on a research semester at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.
"I enjoy the lab even when things go wrong and I have figure out how to fix them," Sanders commented with a smile.
"The Goldwater is incredibly competitive, and it rewards the top students in the STEM disciplines," said Albion chemistry professor Vanessa McCaffrey. "Stephanie really excels in everything she does. I'm not at all surprised she was chosen for this award."
The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. It supports the development of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue research careers in these fields.