APS News

APS Awards 1996-1997 Scholarships to Minority Undergrads

The APS has awarded corporate-sponsored scholarships for the 1996-1997 academic year to 24 minority students who are majoring, or plan to major, in physics. Since its inception in 1980, the scholarship program has helped approximately 200 minority students pursue physics degrees. Each scholarship consists of $2,000, which may be renewed once, and which may be used for tuition, room and board.

"We are extremely proud of these scholars and look forward to watching them evolve into productive scientists, as well as outstanding models for the next generation," said Associate Executive Officer Barrett Ripin.

Out of 79 applicants, 19 new scholarships and 5 renewal applicants were selected. Male and female winners were split evenly while 10 of the winners were African-American, 13 were Hispanic-Americans, and one was Native American. The Committee on Minorities in Physics felt that the quality of the applications was extremely high. Although only 24 students could be supported by funding from the Campaign for Physics, four alternate winners were chosen in the event that one of the winners could not accept the scholarship.

The applications of the 24 recipients were superior. All received extremely high ratings from their professors or teachers who taught them in math, physics or another science. Many students engaged in independent research. The Scholastic Aptitude Test scores for this subset of students were also extremely high. Three students received perfect scores of 800 on the math portion of the SATs, 8 received scores in the 700 range, and the balance received scores ranging from 570 to 660. Most of the students have a very definite idea of what field of physics they would like to focus their study and what they will do with their degrees once they have attained them.

The APS scholarship program operates under the auspices of the APS Committee on Minorities, and is supported by funds allocated from the APS Campaign for Physics. Scholarships are awarded to African-American, Hispanic American or Native American students who are high school seniors, college freshmen, or sophomores. Roughly half are awarded to students enrolled in institutions with historically or predominantly Black, Hispanic, or Native American enrollment. After being selected, each scholar is matched with an available scholarship, as well as an accomplished physicist to act as a mentor.

The new scholars for 1996-1997, and their institutions (where known), are Kanayo Agbodike, Princeton University; Gregory Cezar Baeza, Emory University; Terance Roland Barkus; Martha-Elizabeth Baylor, Kenyon College; Dean Edward Berlin; Catalina Marie Buttz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Carina Pamela Curtom, Harvard University; Paul Anthony Lopez, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Adetokumbo Michael Lukan, University of Toledo; Berta J. Lyles, University of California, San Diego; Dana Ramos Macaluso, Emory University; Jamie Morales, University of Texas, El Paso; Lisa Rheann Morton, California State University, Chico; Melinda Nickelson, Bryn Mawr College; Ann Margaret Orthuber, University of California, Santa Cruz; Eugenio Enrique Ortiz, Princeton University; Anthony V. Pulido, Cornell University; Jamie Lynne Smith; and Cohan Aishon Viernes, University of Washington.

Students whose scholarships were renewed for 1996-1997 and their advisors are: Alicia J. Hardy and advisor Peter Dourmashkin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Korrie Kamauoha and advisor William Strong, Brigham Young University; Obediah Lewis, Jr., Georgia Institute of Technology and advisor Askhut Em Bak, Morehouse College; Asha K. Richard and advisor Vernon Hughes, Yale University; and Matthew J. Rodriguez and advisor Laura Greene, University of Illinois.


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Editor: Barrett H. Ripin