USD student winner of of Goldwater scholarship For the second straight year, a University of South Dakota student has won the Goldwater Scholarship, a prestigious national award that recognizes excellence in mathematics and the sciences.
Tricia Lawrence, a sophomore chemistry and physics major from Mobridge, has won a two-year $15,000 award ($7,500 per year). She is the daughter of Betty Lawrence of Mobridge and Dr. Ron Lawrence of Eufaula, AL.
Lawrence, the fourth USD student in seven years to win a Goldwater Scholarship, received one of the 304 scholarships awarded in the U.S. from approximately 1,181 mathematics, science and engineering students nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities across the country. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.
"I was very surprised," said Lawrence. "It is an honor to be recognized. This scholarship is research-based with the purpose of trying to deal with the growing shortage of scientists," she said, noting that she wants to pursue a Ph.D. or M.D., but plans to do research during her career in the natural sciences or field of medicine.
At USD, she studies with Professor Stanley May on electronic energy transfer.
"We want to examine how energy is transferred and how it occurs. It happens in many systems," she said. "The more you learn about it, the more exciting it is. We are adding to the knowledge about energy transfer. There is a lot to learn," she said.
Lawrence is increasing her understanding about research on the USD campus as well as at national meetings such as the National Conference for Undergraduate Research in Rochester, NY, which she recently attended as part of a group of students and faculty from USD.
She appreciates the support of Professor May and efforts by professors in their research efforts.
"It makes you understand what they do and the many hours they put in to learn about different things. It really makes one appreciate what they do," she said.
"For me, Tricia was an obvious choice as a Goldwater nominee," May said. "She has proven herself academically, and has demonstrated unusual confidence and ability in my research lab. The scholarship is a well-deserved reward for Tricia, and a much-appreciated nod of recognition to the undergraduate research program at USD."
Provided by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation of Springfield, VA, the scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by the U.S. Congress in November 1986. The scholarship program honors Senator Barry M. Goldwater, and was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.