Students Garner National Awards
Last spring, Lewis & Clark students and alumni claimed a bounty of national awards and honors in recognition of their academic excellence and commitment to global service. Here’s a sampling.
Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships are awarded annually to undergraduate students who have done excellent academic research in mathematics, science, or engineering, and intend to pursue a career in these fields. The $7,500 scholarships, widely considered the preeminent awards for U.S. undergraduates preparing for science careers, were awarded to just 275 students nationally in spring 2011.
Demonstrating growing recognition of Lewis & Clark’s leadership in the sciences, nine Lewis & Clark students have received Goldwater Scholarships in just the past five years.
Analise Rodenberg CAS ’12
Hometown: New Ulm, Minnesota
Majors: Mathematics and physics
Why math and physics? I have always enjoyed tinkering with things and asking why they work. This curiosity led me to study physics, which in turn introduced me to the beauty of mathematics, my current focus. I really enjoy how wonderfully math models our physical world.
Faculty-student collaboration: Last summer, I had the opportunity to work closely with Iva Stavrov, assistant professor of mathematics, and another undergraduate student on research in general relativity involving solutions to the Einstein constraint equations in spherical symmetry assuming nonconstant mean curvature. We hope that our work will help broaden solutions and create new methodologies.
It was an amazing opportunity that taught me what mathematical research is like. It was rewarding yet frustrating at times. There were days when we would just puzzle over our current results and try to work out the next step, only to be unable to figure it out—and we did this over and over again. Those days made successful days all the more satisfying.
Future plans: Due to my love for differential equations and modeling, I am currently planning to pursue a career in operations research. To achieve this, I hope to attend graduate school for either a degree in operations research or engineering.
The Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Foundation awards merit-based scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated outstanding potential and a commitment to preserving, protecting, or restoring environmental resources. The $5,000 scholarships were awarded to only 70 college students nationwide.
Over the past 10 years, Lewis & Clark students have been named Udall Scholars eight times.
Laura Bogar CAS ’12
Why the environment? My parents made a point of taking me hiking in the mountains around Seattle from a very young age. They carried me on their backs when I was too young to do much walking and bribed me down the trail with candy when I got older. These excursions helped instill a powerful sense of connection to the natural world that has been very important to me since then.
Environmental advocacy: Last year, as copresident of SEED [Students Engaged in Eco-Defense], I helped lead a campaign to raise the student green energy fee at Lewis & Clark, aiming to power our school with 100 percent renewable electricity. This campaign was very successful. We are now purchasing enough renewable energy credits to account for all of our energy use on all three campuses.
I think that leading College Outdoors hikes may be one of the most important things I do to advocate for the environment. Whenever possible, I am involved with the outings focused on forest ecology and wildflower identification. Environmental education is a crucial piece of conservation: if no one cares about the land, who will fight to protect it?
Faculty-student collaboration: At Lewis & Clark, how can a student avoid working closely with faculty? My professors are all incredibly available to talk about coursework, or internships, or hazy future plans. I feel like we really are able to get to know each other personally. I sing in the choir with my ecology prof—it’s great.
The summer before my sophomore year, I worked with Greta Binford, associate professor of biology, researching the biogeography of brown recluse spider relatives as part of the Rogers Summer Research Program. It was a valuable experience for me, one that I hope to build upon while doing research for a senior thesis on fungal ecology.
Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright Program awards grants to students and professionals for the opportunity to do graduate study, research, or teach at the elementary to the university level in countries all around the world.
Eight graduating seniors and one alumna from Lewis & Clark will spend the next year teaching and researching around the globe after receiving prestigious awards from the Fulbright Program. This marks the largest number of Lewis & Clark graduating seniors earning Fulbright honors in a single year.
The following scholars received Fulbright awards for the 2011–12 academic year:
Kirbee Johnston B.A. ’11, teaching, Germany
Andrew Lyle B.A. ’11, teaching, Germany
Jacob Owens B.A. ’11, teaching, South Korea
Emily Nguyen B.A. ’11, research, Vietnam
Kenneth Rice B.A. ’11, teaching, Austria
Logan Robertson B.A. ’11, teaching, Russia
Luke Rodeheffer B.A. ’11, research, Ukraine
Alexa Schmidt B.A. ’08, teaching, Bangladesh
Margaret Williams B.A. ’11, teaching, Russia
For more information about these and other scholars, visit National Honors 2011.