All three students nominated by Mississippi State University are winners of national Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships for the 1999-2000 school year.
Kerri B. Ezell of Anderson, Ala., Jennifer S. Guimbellot of Vicksburg and Sarah K. Phillips of French Camp were among some 300 students recently selected on the basis of superior academic achievements in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.
Nearly 1,200 students from universities and colleges in all 50 states were nominees for the country's premier undergraduate awards in these fields.
All juniors, the three MSU winners are among 125 women receiving scholarships that cover tuition, fees, books, and room and board to a maximum of $7,500 annually for up to two years. Like many other Goldwater Scholars, each is planning to pursue a professional career after completing a doctoral degree.
Provided by the Goldwater Foundation, the 11-year-old federally endowed program is the official Congressional tribute to the longtime United States senator from Arizona who died last year at age 89.
"To achieve this scholarship, a student must have very impressive qualifications," said Chris Duncan, MSU's coordinator of distinguished external scholarships. "The multi-discipline committee that selected Kerri, Jennifer and Sarah felt each is extremely qualified.
"They clearly have the potential to become leaders in their chosen professions," he added.
Ezell, the daughter of Mike Ezell and Kathy Ezell, is a 1996 graduate of Lauderdale County (Ala.) High School. A chemistry major planning a career in organic chemistry, she previously was awarded University Honors, Chemistry Department and Applewhite scholarships. She is a member of Golden Key, Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. In addition to an internship with Amoco Chemicals, Ezell was selected for participation in the National Science Foundation-sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates at MSU.
Guimbellot, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Guimbellot, is a 1996 graduate of Morris (Ill.) Community High School. A biochemistry/molecular biology and microbiology major, she plans to seek a career as a medical doctor or clinical researcher. She is a member of the University Honors Program and Golden Key, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies. Guimbellot previously has received National Merit, Gamma Sigma Delta, Butler-York, and University Honors scholarships. She has worked as an undergraduate researcher at the Duke University Medical Center.
Phillips, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul T. Phillips, is a 1996 French Camp Academy graduate. A physics and mathematics major, she plans a career in nuclear and high-energy particle physics. She previously received National Merit, Mississippi Eminent, Rose and Howell Physics, and Robert C. Byrd scholarships. A member of the University Honors Program and Phi Kappa Phi honor society, she has worked as an undergraduate physics and mathematics researcher at MSU, as well as at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Virginia.
Of the 1999-2000 Goldwater Scholars, 184 are majoring in the sciences; 42 in engineering; 17 in mathematics; and four in computer science. The other 57 have dual majors in a variety of mathematics, science, engineering, and computer disciplines.