University of Vermont

University Communications

Leggett '13 Wins National Goldwater Scholar Award; Two Other UVM Students Acknowledged with Honorable Mention

Honors College student and biochemistry major Susan Leggett, a UVM junior, has been awarded a 2012 Goldwater Scholarship, a highly competitive award that recognizes sophomores and juniors who have done outstanding work in science, math, or engineering and seek to become researchers and leaders in their disciplines.

In addition, mechanical engineering major David Bernstein ‘13 and Honors College student and biochemistry major Kanita Chaudhry ’13 were acknowledged by the Goldwater Scholarship Foundation with Honorable Mention in the 2012 competition. This is the first time that three UVM students have been acknowledged in the competition in a single year.

The Goldwater Scholarship, named for former Senator Barry M. Goldwater, was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in STEM fields.

Leggett is the first UVM student to receive the award since Isabel Kloumann ’11 was a recipient in 2009. The University of Vermont can nominate up to four students to participate in the competition each year. Professor Rory Waterman, UVM’s Goldwater faculty representative, oversees the advising and nomination process for the scholarship.

”The Goldwater Scholarship is tremendously competitive, so the award to Susan is true recognition of her outstanding achievements,” Waterman said. “That three UVM undergraduates were named in this year’s competition really highlights the quality of our students in STEM programs.”

Goldwater Scholars, nominated by colleges and universities nationwide, are selected on the basis of academic merit. The scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. Since its first award in 1989, the foundation has bestowed more than 6,600 scholarships totaling approximately fifty million dollars.

Since 2005, when the university put a centralized fellowship outreach and support program in place, 89 UVM students have won or been finalists in the country’s most prestigious and competitive competitions, including the Fulbright, Rhodes, Goldwater, Marshall, Udall, Truman, Madison, Gilman, Boren, Critical Language Awards, SMART and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.