Students and Grads Win National Awards
October 02, 2014
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.
The Truman Scholarship is one of the nation’s top prizes for undergraduate leaders. Each scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study and leadership training in preparation for a career in government or the nonprofit sector.
Only 59 Truman Scholars were selected nationally in spring 2014.
Joyce Iwashita CAS ’15
Why public service? I first realized my passion for government and law during my 10th-grade
U.S. history class. It was the first time I was really challenged to think about the values and themes, good and bad, that underlie U.S. history. I’ve been working toward a career as a lawyer in public service ever since. My classes at Lewis & Clark—and positive work experiences in Washington, D.C.—have only strengthened my resolve.
Preparation at Lewis & Clark: My classes have made me a better writer, speaker, and critical thinker—skills I relied on heavily for my Truman application and interview. Lewis & Clark has also forced me to develop strong attention to detail and time management skills. Through opportunities like my overseas study program in Siena, Italy, I’ve become more independent and open minded about other viewpoints, cultures, and opportunities.
Leadership activities: During the fall of 2012, I cofounded ElectionWatch—now known as Politics Club—after learning that there was no nonpartisan organization on campus planning any political event around the upcoming presidential election. I had just returned from spending the summer interning in Washington, D.C., and I really wanted to share my passion for civic engagement.
That semester, the club hosted events that featured live streaming of two presidential debates and news coverage on election night. I loved seeing our Council Chamber fill up with students watching the first presidential debate. Being around all of their excitement and political conversation reminded me of my own excitement and passion for public service.
Future plans: I intend to pursue a joint law degree and security studies master’s degree.
I aspire to be a lawyer and eventually work in public policy to address national security issues, including the security threats posed by domestic problems like the United States’ dysfunctional criminal justice system.
Three Lewis & Clark students were named Goldwater Scholars this spring—more than at all other Oregon colleges and universities combined. Demonstrating growing recognition of Lewis & Clark’s leadership in the sciences, 12 Lewis & Clark students have received Goldwater Scholarships in just the past seven years.
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 283 students nationally in spring 2014.
Colin Gavin CAS ’15
Why the sciences? My primary interest at Lewis & Clark has always been mathematics because I find it elegant and beautiful in its own right. However, I have found that studying physics, in addition to math, gives a wider perspective of the place of mathematics in the sciences and a better understanding of its development and goals.
Faculty-student collaboration: Last year, I worked quite closely with Liz Stanhope, associate professor of mathematical sciences, and over the summer, I worked with Paul Allen, assistant professor of mathematics. It is often difficult to know if you’re on the right track when doing mathematical research, so interacting with professors one-on-one has been very helpful.
Future plans: I plan to apply to graduate school to study mathematics. In particular, I would like to study geometric analysis or a related field.
Keira Roberts CAS ’15
Hometown: San Francisco
Why the sciences? I have always been interested in figuring out how things work in the world around me. I loved chemistry and math in school, but it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to do laboratory research for the first time that I realized I had found my ideal career. Faculty-student collaboration: I have been working with Anne Bentley, associate professor of chemistry, for almost a year. Working with Professor Bentley has given me the opportunity to hone my laboratory skills with the help and feedback of a skilled mentor.
Future plans: After getting my doctorate, I plan to do research with inorganic nanomaterials and eventually work to expand undergraduate access to research opportunities.
Sarah Lowenstein CAS ’15
Majors: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Why the sciences? I have always enjoyed studying the sciences, and was motivated to choose my major after taking a high school cellular, molecular, and biomedical science course. As I continue to study the sciences at Lewis & Clark, I have come to realize how much we still do not understand about biological systems, and that motivates me to pursue scientific research.
Faculty-student collaboration: The highlight of my academic career at Lewis & Clark has been the ability to work closely with faculty. Janis Lochner, Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr. Professor of Science, has been an immense resource for me in expanding my knowledge, curiosity, and interest in the sciences. Conducting undergraduate research has inspired me to pursue a career in science research.
Future plans: I plan on pursuing an M.D./Ph.D. to ultimately become an independent investigator who conducts research in neuroscience and practices clinical medicine.
Seven Lewis & Clark seniors and five alumni will spend the next year overseas after receiving prestigious awards from the Fulbright Program. This is the largest number of Lewis & Clark students and alumni earning Fulbright honors in a single year. Lewis & Clark is one of the top producers of Fulbright award winners in the country, demonstrating a sustained commitment to education and engagement.
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.
The following scholars received Fulbrights for the 2014–15 academic year:
Lindsay Burnette B.A. ’12, research fellowship, South Korea
Laura Burroughs B.A. ’14, teaching, Austrian-American Educational Commission
Joe Ellerbroek B.A. ’13, teaching, Austrian-American Educational Commission
Eve Ben Ezra B.A. ’14, teaching, Thailand
Haley Farrar J.D. ’11, research fellowship, New Zealand
Kerri Finnegan B.A. ’14, Malaysia
Christa Giesecke B.A. ’14, teaching, Brazil
Maya Gold B.A. ’14, teaching, Turkey
Abbie Hebein B.A. ’12, teaching, Mexico
Charlie Patterson B.A. ’14, research fellowship, China
Laura Schroeder B.A. ’14, teaching, Colombia
Abby Vining B.A. ’12, teaching, Norway