Two BU Students Receive Prestigious Goldwater Scholarships

March 22, 2006

by Frank Raczkiewicz

Two Baylor University students have been awarded Goldwater Scholarships, the premier undergraduate scholarship in the United States and its territories in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. Cathryn Hughes, a junior from Kingwood majoring in neuroscience, and Holly Briggs, a junior from Baton Rouge, La., majoring in biology, were selected out of more than 1,000 nominations nationwide.

"Getting two Goldwater Scholarships awarded to our students in one year is a phenomenal event for Baylor," said Dr. Ann Rushing, a biology professor and the Goldwater Scholarship representative on the Baylor campus. "The students who have achieved these awards have not only excelled academically, but they have already made a commitment to research."

The prominent scholarship is designed to encourage math, science and engineering students to pursue careers in research, which both Briggs and Hughes plan to do once they finish their education. Both are already involved with university research projects. Briggs is currently involved with two projects analyzing cell development and molecular biology. Hughes is working on a project studying the underlying biological mechanisms of fear and anxiety. Briggs said she would one day like to work for the Centers for Disease Control or another research laboratory focusing on molecular epidemiology.

"I've had such a great opportunity to work on two research projects and I think that really helped me on my application," Briggs said. "Medicine is an area you can study humanity in general. I like to interact with people and work in science. It's great I get to do both in this field."

Hughes said she would like to continue conducting research in neuroscience, specifically biomedical research that addresses certain neurological disorders.

"Neuroscience is something that has always been of interest to me because it's so interdisciplinary and it's directly applicable to medicine," Hughes said. "I am so grateful to all the people who have helped me along the way and it's nice to be recognized for the work I've done."

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established on Nov. 14, 1986, and honors the late Sen. Barry M. Goldwater. Scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. To date, the foundation has awarded nearly 5,000 scholarships worth approximately $48 million dollars.

For more information, contact Ann Rushing at (254) 710-2097

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