Two L&S students win prestigious Goldwater Scholarships

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Four students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will receive the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for undergraduate excellence in the sciences.

Out of the 1,150 nominations received in 2016, 252 scholars were named nationwide. All four of UW-Madison's nominees received the award.

The 2016 Goldwater Scholars representing the College of Letters & Science are:

  • Idris Boukahil, a sophomore from Madison majoring in applied mathematics, engineering, and physics (AMEP) and physics. He hopes to receive a doctorate in theoretical condensed matter physics in order to lead a theory group modeling electronic properties of novel materials for organic electronics, and also to teach at the university level.
  • Hannah M. Mast, a junior from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, majoring in biochemistry. She hopes to receive a doctorate in biochemistry and a medical degree in order to conduct biomedical research related to neurological disorders, as well as teach at the university level.

The 2016 Goldwater Scholars from across campus are:

  • Bailey G. Flanigan, a fourth-year student from Madison majoring in biomedical engineering. She hopes to receive a doctorate in bioengineering in order to conduct cancer research while teaching at the university level. Flanigan was also nominated last year, receiving an honorable mention.
  • Thejas S. Wesley, a junior from Madison majoring in chemical engineering. He hopes to receive a doctorate in chemical engineering in order to conduct research in heterogeneous catalysis and teach at the university level.

Goldwater Scholars from UW-Madison have historically received other honors later on in their academic careers. 2015 Goldwater Scholar Bill Mulligan was a finalist for both the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships; 2013 Goldwater Scholar Drew Birrenkott received a Rhodes Scholarship; and Joshua Shutter, a fellow 2013 scholar, received a Churchill Scholarship.

Congress established the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program in 1986. Goldwater, the award's namesake, served in the U.S. Senate for over 30 years and challenged Lyndon B. Johnson for the presidency in 1964. The program aims to develop highly qualified scientists, engineers and mathematicians through its scholarship award, given to undergraduates pursuing careers in these fields.

Story by Susannah Brooks, University Communications