Achievement on a National Scale
Adam Kowalski CAS ’08 was named a 2007 Truman scholar, one of the most prestigious awards available to undergraduates nationwide. Truman scholars are awarded $30,000 for graduate study. They are selected based on intellectual ability, leadership potential, communication skills, and commitment to careers in government or the public sector. Kowalski is Lewis & Clark College’s ninth Truman scholar.
Kowalski, a double major in computer science and physics, is from Golden, Colorado. He plans to use the scholarship to pursue a career shaping how the government uses and regulates science and technology.
“There are many challenges ahead in the field of science and technology policy,” Kowalski explains. “For example, increased use of technology could enhance government transparency, but as technology becomes more integrated in our everyday lives, it will raise privacy issues as well.”
Two experiences influenced Kowalski to look for a career that would combine his love of science with public service: a summer spent researching fluid dynamics with Tom Olsen, associate professor of physics, and time volunteering as an educator and computer systems manager at Tryon Creek State Park.
“I’ve had such a meaningful experience volunteering at Tryon,” says Kowalski. “It has made me realize how much I want to be involved with the community at large.”
A member of the Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr. Society of Fellows, Kowalski has participated in the Rogers Science Summer Research Program and serves as the student representative to the faculty’s Library and Educational Technology Committee.
Two Lewis & Clark students received 2007 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, and a third nabbed an honorable mention. Awarded on the basis of academic merit, the one-year scholarship totals $7,500. Since 1995 more than a dozen Lewis & Clark students have received Goldwaters.
Frances Delaney CAS ’08, a native of San Francisco, came to Lewis & Clark knowing she wanted to study science but unsure of which major to pursue.
“I eventually chose chemistry because it’s fundamental; it pertains to everything,” explains Delaney. “I also chose it because of the wonderful department here. Everyone is really close and helpful.”
Delaney has had the opportunity to study a broad range of topics within chemistry while at Lewis & Clark. She has calculated how molecules may interact through computational chemistry. This past summer, she studied a chemical in one variety of seaweed that makes fish averse to eating the seaweed.
Delaney, a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a recipient of Lewis & Clark’s prestigious Neely Scholarship, plans to travel abroad after graduation and then pursue a PhD in inorganic chemistry.
Natalie Miller CAS ’08 grew up in Hamilton, Montana, where she was heavily influenced by the presence of two biological research labs. She chose to major in biochemistry after taking a course with Deborah Lycan, professor of biology, whom she describes as “an excellent mentor.”
In Lycan’s lab, Miller researches ribosomes–molecular machines that cells assemble in order to synthesize proteins. She has also researched chlamydia at the Rocky Mountain Lab in her hometown. “Although most people might cringe at studying a sexually transmitted infection, it truly is a fascinating organism,” says Miller.
Miller, who is a math tutor and teaching assistant, plans to work in a research lab after graduation and then pursue a PhD in either cell or molecular biology.
Katie Holzer CAS ’08, a biology major from Northfield, Minnesota, received an honorable mention from the foundation. While at Lewis & Clark, Holzer has researched baboons in the Serengeti while on a study-abroad program to eastern Africa, and she has studied geckos in the lab of Kellar Autumn, associate professor of biology. She has also investigated honeybee cognition and the home range of coyotes through a program sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Holzer spent the summer in Tanzania studying the coevolution of snails and crabs through another National Science Foundation program.
“Every research experience I’ve had, I’ve enjoyed,” says Holzer. “I’ve always been curious about what’s going on in the world. As a scientist, I’m able to follow through on my questions and find answers for them.”
Robin Young BA ’07, who graduated with a double major in sociology/anthropology and Hispanic studies, received a Fulbright grant to pursue creative solutions to domestic violence. She is spending her first year out of college in the Dominican Republic, where she is developing new ways for mothers to communicate with their daughters to help women stop the cycle of domestic abuse.
“Mothers have the capacity to positively impact the formation and decision-making capabilities of their daughters,” says Young. “Given the proper tools, female survivors of domestic violence can potentially take an empowered and central role in preventing violence in their daughters’ lives.”
Young came to know the Dominican Republic during a Lewis & Clark overseas study program there, in which she had the opportunity to volunteer with a local nonprofit organization. Her passion for empowering women to stop domestic violence came from experiences volunteering at El Programa Hispano, an Oregon-based charity that created the first Spanish-language domestic violence crisis line.
After wrapping up her work in the Dominican Republic, Young hopes to return to the States, work for a domestic violence prevention organization, and apply what she has learned and developed through her project.