Two CELS students are Goldwater recipients

Two CELS students have been awarded the prestigious the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships for 2012.

Awarded under the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program, the scholarships go to students in the STEM disciplines and will assist them with their graduate tuitions.

The winners are Christopher Bobba, a junior in chemical engineering and biological sciences and Russell Dauksis, a junior in marine biology.

They represent the 16th and 17th URI students to have landed the Goldwater scholarships in recent years  and in so doing  so have garnered both RI awards, beating out students from Brown University, Northeastern and others.

A third URI student, Farid Topchiev, a junior in chemical engineering and German, was an honorable mention finalist under the program.

Bobba also represents the second consecutive year that a Goldwater Scholar has come out of Geoff Bothun’s laboratory. Topchiev is also in that lab.

Writes Kathleen D. Maher, assistant director for national fellowships and academic opportunities, “Russell Dauksis, who has conducted research under Brad Wetherbee (BIO) and Graham Forrester (NRS), was the recipient of a NOAA Hollings Scholarship last year, as a sophomore. We have identified the Hollings as a terrific “stepping stone award” for students in relevant fields. In fact, two of our three current Fulbright Finalists this year were also named NOAA Hollings Scholars as sophomores. Currently six marine biology sophomores have finalist status for the Hollings, and we expect final decisions to come through shortly. Within the next month we should also find out the final status of our Fulbright finalists, Boren nominees and Udall nominee, among others.”