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University of Iowa News Release


April 3, 2008

Three UI students receive prestigious Goldwater Scholarships

Three students in the University of Iowa Honors Program have been awarded 2008 Goldwater Scholarships, which cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year for one or two years. One student has been awarded an honorable mention.

The scholarship was awarded to 321 students nationally this year and is administered by the federally endowed Goldwater Foundation, which was named in honor of the late U.S. Sen. Barry M. Goldwater. The foundation seeks to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering, and the scholarship is considered the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.

Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of mathematics, science and engineering students who are nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities. At the UI, the University Honors Program selects four nominees based on the students' academic achievements and participation in research.

The four UI honorees are listed below by hometown:

Cedar Rapids: Rachel Levine, a junior who is majoring in chemical and biochemical engineering in the College of Engineering and in music in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has done research with Susan Stagg-Williams, a University of Kansas professor. She is currently working with Allan Guymon, a UI professor in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, where she is studying photopolymerization. She plans to obtain a doctorate in biochemical engineering and hopes to develop products that improve people's lives.

Grinnell: Thomas Heineman, a sophomore chemistry and history major in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is a researcher working with Mark Young, a professor in the UI Department of Chemistry on a project related to environmental chemistry. He plans to obtain a doctorate in environmental chemistry and hopes to teach at the university level as well as conduct research in biogeochemistry.

Iowa City: Mark Tucker, a sophomore physics and mathematics major in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is a researcher working with Wayne Polyzou, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy studying relativistic scattering theory, and with Jonathan Simon in the UI Department of Mathematics studying knot theory. He plans to obtain a doctorate in physics and hopes to teach and conduct research in mathematical physics at the university level.

Eau Claire, Wisconsin: Maria Drout, a sophomore astronomy major in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was awarded an honorable mention.

Among this year's Goldwater Scholars nationally, 189 are men, 132 are women and virtually all of the recipients have indicated that they want to obtain doctorates. Thirty-three of the scholars are mathematics majors, 52 engineering majors, 227 are science majors and nine are in majors related to computer science. Many of the scholars have dual majors in a variety of mathematics, science, engineering and computer disciplines.

To view a full list of 2008 Goldwater Scholars, visit

For more information on the UI Honors Program, see

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Prineas, UI Honors Program, 319-335-1874,; Lois J. Gray, 319-384-0077,