U.Va. students win prestigious scholarships
By Matt Kelly
The University of Virginia is on a par with most Ivy League institutions when it comes to the number of prestigious scholarships its students racked up this year. Here is a list of the students, current and recently graduated, who won scholarships this past year for scientific research, conflict resolution and leadership potential.
Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship
My-Linh T. Nguyen and Eliah R. Shamir became Gold-water Scholars for 2006, winning one- and two-year scholarships that will cover tuition, fees, books and room- and-board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
Nguyen, of Fairfax, Va., is a third-year biochemistry major who plans to pursue a medical degree and conduct basic science, clinical research and teach.
Shamir, of Vienna, Va., is a second-year biomedical engineering major. She will seek a medical degree and wants to work in immunology, conducting clinical and biomedical research with a focus on improving global health.
They are among the 323 scholarship recipients nationwide of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships.
Timothy M. Reichart and Rachel C. Klet, both chemistry majors, were honorable mentions in the selection process. Reichart, of Fairfax, Va., plans to pursue a doctorate in organic chemistry, conduct research and teach. Klet, of Herndon, Va., intends to seek her doctorate in chemistry, conduct research and teach.
“These students represent some of the brightest and most ambitious students at the University,” said Michael P. Timko, a biology professor and University representative for selecting nominees for the Goldwater scholarships. “Because of the competitiveness of these awards, it is an honor to be nominated. It shows a level of achievement that puts them in an elite class.”
Harry S. Truman Scholarship
Edward Ross Baird, a third-year student majoring in the political honors program is a 2006 Truman Scholar.
Baird, of Atlanta, is among 75 students chosen nationally for the award, worth up to $30,000. Given by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, the award goes to college juniors who exhibit exceptional leadership potential and who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in public service. The scholarship provides financial support for graduate study and leadership training for students committed to public service.
Baird is one of only six students in his class selected to major in the politics honors program. He plans to apply his Truman Scholarship toward a joint law and public policy degree, concentrating on educational policy. Baird wants a career working with K-12 educational policy and civic education.
Baird is a Jefferson Scholar, an Echols Scholar, a Robert K. Gooch Scholar and a member of the Raven Society. The third-year class president, he received a David A. Harrison III Undergraduate Research Award to study political participation in Europe, under the mentorship of Larry J. Sabato, director of the Center for Politics. He is also studying civil and political participation in his native Georgia.
George J. Mitchell Scholarship
Alumni Aaron M. Kurman (Class of 2005) and Margaret M. Brennan (Class of 2002) were among the 12 national recipients of the 2006-2007 George J. Mitchell Scholarship.
Since graduation, Kurman, of Rockville, Md., has worked for Search for Common Ground, an international conflict-resolution organization, in Washington, D.C., and as a ski instructor in Wyoming. Manhattan resident Brennan is a producer and on-air reporter at the CNBC news network in New Jersey.
Both Kurman and Brennan have an interest in conflict resolution, particularly in the Middle East. Kurman, who will pursue a master’s degree in peace and conflict studies at the University of Ulster, in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, majored in political and social thought and economics, with a minor in religious studies. Brennan, who will be working on a master’s degree in arts and politics at University College Dublin, majored in foreign affairs and the Middle East, with a minor in Arabic.
• Peter Swendsen, music composition, Norway
• Nathan Bordegaray, teaching assistant, Spain
• Roberto Armengol, anthropology, Cuba
• Wijitha Bandara, religious studies, Sri Lanka
• Daniel Kent, religious studies, Sri Lanka
• Amy Nichols-Belo, anthropology, Tanzania
• Holly Singh, anthropology, India
• David Strohl, anthropology, India
• Johanna Peet, international relations, Netherlands
• Lee Skluzak, economics, China
• Peter Kline, New Zealand (alternate)