APS News

APS Selects 15 New Minority Scholarship Recipients

2000-2001 Minority Scholarship Recipients

Elliot George Aguilar
David Hector Ayala
Jeremy Phillippe Broadnax
Rosa E. Cardenas
Joel Christopher Corbo
Amado Gabriel DeHoyas
Ryan Dyer
Stephen Andrew Elliff
Diana Grijalva
Laura Ann Lopez
Daniel Ricardo Lowe
William Francis Walker Merrick
Benjamin Isaac Rapoport
Richard Louis Rivero
Reginald Dillard Madison Smith

David Allen Algoso
Michael E. Boctor
Elizabeth Rose Fernandez
Xerxes Lopez-Yglesias
Adam Edward Orin
Elizabeth A. Robbins
Ricardo Enrique Rojas
Aaron Thaddeus Santos
Joao Da Silva Rego Sosa
Martha-Helene Stapleton
Natalia Toroimage
The APS has awarded Campaign-for-Physics-sponsored Corporate Minority Scholarships to 26 students who are majoring or planning to major in physics. Since its inception in 1980, the program has helped more than 265 minority students pursue physics degrees. Of the 53 applicants, 15 new scholars and 11 renewal scholars were selected. Each new scholarship consists of $2000, which may be renewed once, and each renewal scholarship consists of $3000.

New Corporate Scholar Ryan Dyer, a sophomore of Potawatomi and Choctaw descent, says he plans to major in physics because "Physics is the science that explains all other sciences," and hopes to eventually have a career as an experimental physicist. Simultaneously taking classes at Haskell Indian Nations University and the University of Kansas, Dyer has also found time to work on KU's Radio Ice Cerenkov Experiment (RICE), which seeks to study high-energy neutrinos in cosmic rays as they interact with Antarctic ice at the South Pole. According to David Besson, Dyer's research advisor, the experiment detects these rays through simple radio antennae frozen into the icecap. These antennae measure the radio pulse produced by neutrinos and enable scientists to reconstruct the trajectory and energy of the neutrino.

The potential of superstring theory to fulfill Einstein's dream of unifying the fundamental forces through extensions into higher dimensions of hyperspace is what cemented Corporate Scholar Jeremy Broadnax's desire to study physics, along with the possible existence of wormholes in the galaxy. He is currently attending Abilene Christian University in Texas, which over the last three years, has played a significant role in research collaborations at both Brookhaven and Fermilab to study the structure of the nucleon and its excited states. This year ACU will join the PHENIX collaboration at RHIC to study the gluon structure of the nucleon. These collaborations all provide valuable opportunities for Broadnax to gain hands-on experience in physics research in tandem with his studies.

Corporate Scholar Laura Lopez, who will be attending MIT this fall, recalls being introduced to the wonders of astronomy as a fifth grader on a school retreat to Wisconsin. "I was so fascinated by the vastness of space and the beauty of the sky that I began to read about topics in astronomy and stargaze on my own," she says, an interest which eventually led to the desire to understand the physical laws governing the behavior of celestial objects. She took an astronomy class at Harvard University during the summer of her junior year of high school, and also shadowed a physicist and electrical engineer on the job at Fermilab to learn about job possibilities in this area; she hopes to be an astrophysicist one day.

The APS scholarship program operates under the auspices of the APS Committee on Minorities in Physics, and is supported by funds allocated from the APS Campaign for Physics. Scholarships are awarded to African-American, Hispanic American and Native American students who are high school seniors, college freshmen or sophomores. The selection committee especially encourages applications from students enrolled in institutions with historically Black, Hispanic or Native American enrollment. After being selected, each scholar is matched with an accomplished physicist to act as a mentor. For applications for the 2001-2002 competition, contact Arlene Modeste Knowles.

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Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette