Park Scholars and Alumni Receive Goldwater, National Science Foundation, and Udall Awards

posted 2012.04.11

This spring, Park Scholars and alumni were named recipients of several distinguished national scholarships and fellowships. Congratulations to Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship recipients Richard Deans ‘13, Ian Hill ‘13, and Heidi Klumpe ‘13; National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellows Tyler Barry ‘09, Allie Landry ‘11, and Alex Schlegel ‘04; and Morris K. Udall Scholarship recipient Gretchen Stokes ‘13.

Goldwater Scholarship recipients Heidi Klumpe, Richard Deans, and Ian Hill with Udall Scholarship recipient Gretchen Stokes.
Goldwater Scholarship recipients Heidi Klumpe, Richard Deans, and Ian Hill with Udall Scholarship recipient Gretchen Stokes.

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships

Richard Deans, Ian Hill, and Heidi Klumpe were awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation selects outstanding sophomores and juniors from across the nation and provides support for the pursuit of careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. This year, 282 scholarships were awarded from a field of over 1,100 candidates. NC State is one of four universities to have all four nominees selected.

Deans is majoring in chemistry and will pursue a Ph.D. in that discipline; he plans to complete at least one post-doctoral fellowship before teaching and researching in organic synthesis with biomedical applications. He has conducted research with Dr. Jonathan Lindsey of the Department of Chemistry focusing on synthesizing analogues of naturally occurring tetrapyrrole macrocycles.

“My determination to be a chemist is not the product of a singular experience, but rather the culmination of persistent lab work that has gradually instilled in me a genuine affection for the thrill of discovery,” says Deans.

Hill is double-majoring in biochemistry and polymer and textile chemistry and intends to seek a Ph.D. in biochemistry or molecular biology; he has plans to teach at the university level and maintain an active research program. He is currently performing research with Dr. Trino Ascencio-Ibanez of the Department of Biochemistry on the effects of geminivirus infection of Arabidopsis thaliana on the regulation of cell cycle-specific cyclin dependent kinases.

Tyler Barry conducting primate research in the field.
Tyler Barry conducting primate research in the field.

“The research internship that I undertook this past summer at a Harvard/MIT funded lab at Massachusetts General Hospital both clarified and strengthened my motivation for a career in life science research,” says Hill.

Klumpe is double-majoring in chemical engineering and English and will pursue a Ph.D. in chemical engineering; she plans to conduct research in RNA engineering for therapeutics and to teach at the university level. Klumpe has performed research with the Department of Biology at NC State and with the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center.

“My present research project, developing an RNA-mediated alternative to antibiotics, equips me for the biotechnology projects I hope to pursue; while previous research experiences trained me to read scientific papers, develop project proposals, and design and interpret experiments,” says Klumpe.

View the 2012 Goldwater Scholars

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships
Tyler Barry, Allie Landry, and Alex Schlegel were each awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Fellowships are granted for research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. Recipients receive three years of support including a $30,000 annual stipend, cost-of-education allowance, and opportunities for international research and professional development.

Alex Schlegel during a cognitive neuroscience study at Dartmouth College.
Alex Schlegel during a cognitive neuroscience study at Dartmouth College.

Barry is pursuing a Ph.D. in biological anthropology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Barry plans to use the fellowship to solely perform research in the lab and in the field, examining the role food resources play in the social behavior of both females and males among a group of folivorous primates.

“While I am currently in a biological anthropology program, I feel my time at NCState as a zoology and religious studies major gave me the base of knowledge I needed to pursue a degree in such an electric field while my time as a Park Scholar greatly prepared me for the time abroad necessary for my research in anthropology,” says Barry.

Schlegel is pursuing his Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience at Dartmouth College. His research interest includes understanding the highly flexible mental abilities that differentiate human brains from other animals and helping to build a more intelligent education system.

“Scientists hold a trusted position in our society and because of this have a unique voice and opportunity to shape the course of events both within and beyond their fields. Obtaining National Science Foundation support for my studies is invaluable in helping me apply my insights from basic research in neuroscience to the challenges of education,” says Schlegel.

Landry is working on a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Her extensive research highlights the use of transition metal catalysts and their economic and ecological impacts on modern society.

“The National Science Foundation likes to focus on the broader impact of a researcher’s activities,” says Landry. “For my research, this involves creating catalysts with possible future applications to reducing toxic byproducts resulting from the petroleum industry, or for use in alternative ‘green’ energy sources, such as fuel cells.”

View the 2012 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellows

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship recipient Allie Landry.
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship recipient Allie Landry.

Morris K. Udall Scholarship
The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation awarded Gretchen Stokes with the Morris K. Udall Scholarship, which provides an award of up to $5,000 for educational expenses. The Udall Scholarship is presented to exceptional sophomores and juniors based on a commitment to leadership and academic achievement in the pursuit of a career in the environment, Native American health care, or tribal public policy. A total of 80 individuals were named Udall Scholars from a pool of nearly 600 candidates.

“The seeds for my passion for the environment were planted at a young age but have rooted firmly and blossomed during college,” says Stokes. “Being a Udall Scholar will not only fuel my commitment to the environment, but through collaboration with fellow scholars will provide the opportunity to broaden my environmental perspective and refine my vision for ensuring a sustainable future.”

Stokes is majoring in fisheries, wildlife, and conservation biology with minors in Spanish and biology, and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in conservation biology or fisheries science. Stokes has performed research on the reproductive ecology of native stream fish in Puerto Rico and on the biodiversity and endangered species in Equatorial Guinea. Stokes has also recently been awarded a National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship.

View the 2012 Udall Scholars