STARKVILLE, Miss.--Three Mississippi State seniors are among those receiving honorable mention awards this year from the national Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program.
--Matthew F. Blair of Clear Spring, Md., a civil engineering major and the son of Patricia Blair;
--Cameron S. Clarke of Jackson, a physics major and the son of Stuart and Janie Clarke; and
--Shannon Kate Thompson of Picayune, a biochemistry major and the daughter of Patrick and Gena Thompson.
"Winning three Goldwater honorable mention awards underscores how competitive our best students are on a national level," said Tommy Anderson, prestigious external scholarships director in MSU's Shackouls Honors College.
"Matt, Cameron and Kate have been engaged in significant research as undergraduates since their sophomore year at Mississippi State," the associate professor of English added. "Their departments have actively supported their research, and their faculty mentors have been instrumental in introducing them to transformative experiences beyond the classroom."
Blair's career goals include a doctoral degree in environmental engineering and research on water quality and renewable energy systems. Clarke also plans to pursue a doctoral degree, then focus on medium-energy particle physics while also teaching at a research university. Thompson will be seeking to apply her knowledge and training in biochemistry and biotechnology to help address fundamental questions in mammalian reproduction and genomics.
"I am very honored to be ranked as a Goldwater Scholar among such talented, successful individuals," Thompson said. "I have dedicated so much of my time to my research, and it is a wonderful feeling to have my work acknowledged at a national level."
Clarke agreed the award is a great honor. "With the abundance of wonderful professors and great researchers at MSU, this kind of thing happens all the time and is why MSU was able to send so many candidates and get so many honorable mentions," Clarke said.
Blair concurred, adding, "For me, the Goldwater scholarship was the next major step in my personal and academic development. It is an honor to win, and serves as motivation to continue working to make a difference in the world around me."
Anderson said the three students understood early the value of making presentations in the honor college's Undergraduate Research Symposium.
"Now, their research is being recognized in scientific publications and with prestigious research internships," he said, terming their scientific investigations as "some of the most promising in the nation."
The Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor of the former U.S. Republican senator from Arizona and 1964 presidential candidate. Its goal is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who will pursue careers in these fields. For more, visit https://goldwater.scholarsapply.org.
For more information about Mississippi State University, see www.msstate.edu.