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Five years of Goldwater success: ONU students receive Goldwater Scholarships

 

Once again, Ohio Northern has gone for the gold. For the fifth consecutive year, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program has recognized Ohio Northern students.

Established in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation fosters and encourages outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. After more than two decades, the foundation has James Gallagherawarded 5,801 scholarships worth approximately $56 million.

This year, the Foundation selected 278 scholarship recipients from a field of 1,097 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.

 Two ONU students – one scholarship winner and one honorable mention – were selected from this field.

James Gallagher, a senior physics major from Medina, Ohio, was selected as a 2009 Goldwater Scholar, the premier undergraduate award of its type in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.

During summer 2008, Gallagher participated in a physics Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at the National Observatory in Tucson, Ariz., where he researched the 11-year solar cycle in the northern and southern hemispheres. He presented his findings to the Ohio Region of the American Physical Society in October 2008, and his research will be published in Solar Physics.

During summer 2008, Gallagher participated in the Physics Research Experience for Undergraduates at the National Observatory in Tucson, Ariz., where he researched the 11-year solar cycle in the northern and southern hemispheres. He presented his findings to the Ohio Region of the American Physical Society in October 2008, and his research will be published in Solar Physics. 

Since November 2007, Gallagher has worked with Dr. Jason Pinkney, associate professor of physics at ONU, in locating a supermassive black hole in galaxy N2976. In spring 2009, he will present his findings to the American Physical Society or the Ohio Region of the American Physical Society. 

“I feel honored to have won the Goldwater Scholarship,” says Gallagher. “I want to continue to succeed so I can reach my goal of becoming a research scientist. The next step is another REU this summer in materials research at Carnegie Mellon University.”

John HolodnakIn addition, John Holodnak, a senior mathematics major from Jefferson, Ohio, received an honorable mention in the competitive national scholarship program. His faculty advisor at ONU was Dr. Mihai Caragiu, associate professor of mathematics.

“Receiving an honorable mention positively reflects as much on the ONU math department as it does on me,” Holodnak says. “The faculty here supplied me with a strong mathematical background and the recommendations that allowed me to spend the summer of 2008 at Texas A&M.”

That summer at Texas A&M involved the Mathematical Biology Research Experience for Undergraduates, where Holodnak researched “A Stochastic Model of Tuberculosis.” He presented his findings to the American Mathematical Society-Mathematical Association.

As Holodnak looks to the future, he understands the value of his honorable mention. “I am hopeful that when I apply to graduate schools, they will look at this award as an indication that I can be successful in their program.”