Sophomore Named Goldwater ScholarGAMBIER, Ohio (May 3, 2010) Elizabeth J. Bailey, Class of 2012, has been named a Goldwater Scholar by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The award is one of the nation's most prestigious honors for undergraduates in the sciences.
Bailey, who is from Columbia Station, Ohio, earned a two-year scholarship valued at up to $7,500 per year. She is one of 278 scholarship winners from around the country and one of 122 women. She was selected from a field of 1,111 students nominated by faculty members at colleges and universities.
A double major in chemistry and studio art, Bailey intends to pursue a doctorate in chemistry. She plans to conduct research on renewable fuels, teach at the college level, and write scientific articles to educate the public.
"Renewable energy has been a passion of mine since high school," Bailey said. "I'd like to be a liaison, making science more accessible to the public through good writing and good graphics." She's had a taste of educating as lead tutor for the Chemistry Department's solar energy course, working at Kenyon's Math and Science Skills Center, and loves the work.
Bailey expressed appreciation for the research opportunities she's been offered early in her Kenyon career. As a Summer Science Scholar working under the mentorship of chemistry professor Simon Garcia following her first year at Kenyon, she conducted research on zinc oxide crystal growth towards developing materials to make efficient solar cells.
"I looked at larger schools, but I chose Kenyon because I wanted to work closely with my professors," Bailey said. She has established personal relationships with professors throughout the Chemistry Department, and is particularly close with her advisor, Assistant Professor John Hofferberth. "I go in and talk with him about everything, not just about chemistry. We talk about art, the books I'm reading, everything," she said.
"I also wanted Kenyon because I knew I would have a balanced experience here," said Bailey. Some of that balance comes from her other major-studio art. There are those who might view chemistry and studio art as an unusual pair, but not Bailey. "The mindset is similar," she said. "Both fields are creative and focused. Both are about beauty. Some people think chemistry is about memorizing facts. But in my advanced labs, it's about problem solving, synthesizing facts, and thinking on your feet."
A rising star in chemistry, winning the CRC Chemistry Prize in her first year, Bailey has gifts in many areas and finds opportunities to express them all. She is studying Italian in preparation for off-campus study on the Kenyon in Rome program next fall. She also runs track and cross-country and plays flute in the wind ensemble.
Based in Springfield, Virginia, the Goldwater foundation was endowed by the federal government in 1986. The scholarship program is designed to support outstanding students in their pursuit of careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.