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Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014

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Four Princeton students selected as Goldwater Scholars

Four Princeton students have been named Goldwater Scholars by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

Established in honor of Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, the federally endowed foundation annually awards scholarships to outstanding students interested in careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering. In these fields, the Goldwater Scholarship is the foremost undergraduate award of its kind.

Princeton's 2005 scholars are: Allison Bishop, formerly of Lansing, N.Y., and now a resident of Omaha, Neb., who is majoring in mathematics; Neir Eshel of Bethesda, Md., who plans to major in molecular biology; David Konieczkowski of Cleveland, Ohio, who is majoring in molecular biology; and Alexandra Ovetsky of Philadelphia, Pa., who is majoring in mathematics. All of the scholars are juniors except for Eshel, who is a sophomore.

Bishop plans to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics and become a professor. Last summer, she was part of a Research Experience for Undergraduates Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she conducted research in evolutionary game theory. She gave a lecture on her results as a plenary speaker at the Nebraska Regional Workshop for Mathematical Sciences. Bishop is a regular participant in the Summer Program for Women in Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

Eshel conducts neuroscience research in Princeton's Center for the Study of Brain, Mind and Behavior. For the past four summers, he interned at the National Institute of Mental Health, conducting brain-imaging research on how adolescents and adults make decisions. He is the co-author of two published papers based on this research. This summer, he plans to work for the World Health Organization in Geneva, researching early child-care interventions and their effect on neurophysiological development. His tentative post-college plans are to get an M.D. or M.D./Ph.D. and to continue conducting research as well as to practice medicine and write.

Konieczkowski has spent three summers at Case Western Reserve University researching the cellular causes of renal failure. His work was supported by an American Heart Association research fellowship in 2003, and he has co-written an article for the Journal of Biological Chemistry based on his work. Last summer, he conducted research at Princeton under a Howard Hughes Research Fellowship on renal cyst formation and also has prepared an article for publication on that topic. He intends to continue that research at Princeton this summer. After graduating from a joint M.D./Ph.D. program, he plans to become a principal investigator at a research university or medical school, focusing on the cellular biology of disease states.

Ovetsky began conducting mathematics research at the University of Pennsylvania while still in high school. She has co-written an article that was published in a mathematics journal based on her work there. During summer breaks in her education at Princeton, she has participated in research opportunities at Rutgers University and at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. This summer she will work on math research problems at the National Security Agency in Fort Meade , Md. Ovetsky plans to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics and become a professor.

The 320 Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,091 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of their respective colleges and universities. The one- and two-year scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

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