Two Named 2011 Goldwater ScholarsGAMBIER, Ohio (April 14, 2011)
Two Kenyon students have received the nation's most competitive science scholarship in recognition of their academic merit, research experience, and future ambitions. Nathan Huey, a sophomore studying mathematics and biology, and Joseph Murphree, a junior majoring in physics and mathematics, were both awarded 2011 Goldwater Scholarships.
The Goldwater is the nation's premier undergraduate scholarship in mathematics, natural sciences, and engineering, valued at $7,500 per year for one- and two-year scholarships. The 275 Goldwater Scholars were selected from a field of 1,095 students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.
Huey, of Cincinnati, Ohio, has won a two-year scholarship. As a 2010 Summer Science Scholar, he worked in the lab of mathematics professor Brad Hartlaub on the Manduca InSTaRs collaborative math and biology scaling project. Huey modeled data generated by the project in past years, using both classical linear and alternative regression models.
He has also been named a 2011 Summer Science Scholar and will be studying a receptor protein in frog kidney cells under the guidance of biology professor Wade Powell. "What's exciting is that the work will produce quantitative information that could help to annotate the genome of the animal, which is being published this spring," Huey said.
Huey is a member of the math honor society Pi Mu Epsilon and was awarded the 2011 Dorothy E. and Thomas C. Jegla Prize in biology. He is also deeply involved in the campus music scene as a member of the Opera Workshop, the Chasers, Motown, and Kenyon College Chamber Singers. "I love it here at Kenyon," he said. "I love connecting with people on the level Kenyon allows, everyone from professors and food service workers to administrators and friends. I love the small classes. I've had great professors who've really taken a personal interest in me."
Murphree, of Meadville, Pennsylvania, attributes his successful application for the Goldwater to the variety of research experiences his professors have encouraged him to pursue. "I was involved in research from the get-go, starting in my first year," he said, when he began working in the lab of his research advisor, physics professor Frank Peiris. After his freshman year, Murphree stayed at Kenyon as a Summer Science Scholar, researching how Bragg reflectors made of colloidal silica solutions react with the environment. He has continued to work on this research during his sophomore and junior years.
Last summer a DAAD Research Internship in Science and Engineering took him to Germany, where he conducted research in a particle physics lab at the University of Göttingen, analyzing data from the lab's ATLAS experiment at the Large Haldron Collider.
This summer he will be working in a quantum optics lab at the University of Rochester. "It's a testament to Kenyon that I've been encouraged to work on a variety of projects," Murphree said. "You're not pigeonholed here. The professors want to help you explore your own interests so you can find where your niche is."
Murphree received the 2010 Carl Diehl Prize in Latin and the 2009 Elbe H. Johnson Prize in physics, and was elected to the math honor society Pi Mu Epsilon. He also studies German, plays saxophone in the Woodwind Ensemble and Saxophone Quartet, and enjoys the weekly lunches sponsored by both the math department and the physics department. He plans to get a Ph.D. in physics. "The professors here are really effective and successful at inspiring students to keep learning about the subject. I realized in my first year how well Kenyon does science generally and physics in particular," he said.