APS News

APS Selects 26 as 2002-2003 Minority Scholarship Recipients

New Scholarships
Daniel Garcia
Micah Hawkins
Gabriel Armas-Cordona
Jon Lamberson
Gabriel Mitchell
Anita Ngatchou
Daniel Noval
Joshua Reeves
Manuel Reyes
Dione Rossiter
Alyse Rothrock
Matthew Sievert
Tonia Venters
Jerry Vigil
Elspeth Whetten

Renewal Scholarships

Jose Banuelos
Ryan Camacho
Joy Chavez
Monique Cook
Sharon Doku
Tyeisha Hughes
Lydia Kwateng
Bernice McPherson
Matthew Pena
Marcos Vicente
Kendrick Walker
The APS has awarded 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 290 minority students pursue physics degrees. Fifteen new scholars and eleven renewal scholars were selected. Each new scholarship consists of $2,000, which may be renewed once, and each renewal scholarship consists of $3,000.

A member of the Cherokee tribe, Corporate Scholar John Lamberson graduated in the top 10% of his class at Cascia Preparatory School in Tulsa, OK. He became increasingly interested in physics and astronomy throughout high school, and most recently developed a fascination with superstring theory and multidimensional analysis. His interests also include music. For his "Career Exploration" senior project, Lamberson worked in a local music store, organizing the warehouse area and sharing his love of music with the customers. He will be a freshman at Tulsa University this fall, and hopes to eventually become an engineer or a high energy physicist, working at SLAC or the future Large Hadron Collider.

Corporate Scholar Gabriel Mitchell has always been interested in astronomy and space exploration and hopes to one day hold a research position in the aerospace industry. As a junior at McNavy High School in Oregon, he completed a special research project involving planning for robotic planetary space probes, analyzing several factors that contribute to the cost and success rate of robotic space exploration, and designing a simulation program to track and optimize several critical factors. He presented his results in two talks at statewide research symposia. This year Mitchell is continuing his simulation modeling work by focusing specifically on trajectory issues. He is also pursuing an entirely separate study in another class, working with a Willamette University professor to analyze DNA fragments in ancient grain samples from the Middle East in an attempt to quantify the extent of grain trading between distant regions. He will be a freshman at Oregon State University this fall.

Born in Cameroon, Corporate Scholar Anita Ngatchou is entering her junior year at Rutgers University. Her interest in physics dates back to her childhood, where she exhibited a natural curiosity for how things worked, constantly taking apart her electronic toys and radios. Initially a chemistry major, she switched to physics her sophomore year, and hopes to pursue graduate studies in biophysics. That interest was sparked by a summer research internship, during which Ngatchou assisted Rutgers professor John Gagliardi in a study of microscale electrostatics in mitosis, and found the use of physics principles to explain biological phenomena particularly interesting.

A competitive classical pianist by the time she reached junior high school, Corporate Scholar Elspeth Whetten began seriously pursuing physics studies when her musical career was sidelined by a serious bout of carpal tunnel syndrome, requiring surgery and a year of physical therapy. Her high school science teacher fostered her interest by loaning her physics books, and she proceeded to take as many math and science courses as she could, electing to major in physics once she reached the University of Utah. Now entering her sophomore year, Whetten spent part of this past winter as a research assistant to UU professor Kai Martens, helping to measure the quantum efficiency of a photo- multiplier tube. She hopes to eventually earn a PhD in physics.

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 2003-2004 competition, contact Arlene Modeste Knowles at knowles@aps.org. More information.

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Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette