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Three U. of I. students win Goldwater Scholarships

Jeff Unger, News Bureau
217-333-1085

6/16/2006

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Three students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been named Goldwater Scholars for the 2006-2007 academic year.

The students are among 323 winners nationwide. The scholarships are given to sophomores and juniors from the United States on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,081 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.

The one- and two-year scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

The U. of I. recipients:

Gleb M. Akselrod of Stillwater, Okla., who is majoring in physics. He intends to pursue a doctorate in biophysics and then to conduct research in biophysics and teach at the university level.

Joseph P. Gerdt of Peoria, Ill., who is majoring in chemistry. He intends to pursue a doctorate in organic and bio-organic chemistry. Ultimately, he wants to conduct research and teach at a major university.

Megha S. Makam of Naperville, Ill., who is majoring in biology. Makam intends to pursue a doctorate in biology and ultimately to conduct research in the chemistry of tropical systems and teach at the university level.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established in 1986. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry M. Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.

In its 18-year history, the foundation has awarded 4,885 scholarships worth about $48 million. The trustees plan to award about 300 scholarships for the 2007-2008 academic year.