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The Carletonian

Two Carleton juniors named Goldwater scholars

<rleton College students Cody Finke ’12 and James Lu Morrissey ’12 were both recently named Goldwater Scholars. The two were selected from a pool of 1,095 sophomores and juniors who had been nominated by the faculty of their respective colleges and universities.

Finke, a chemistry major from Seattle, intends to go to graduate school where he will pursue a M.D. or PhD in virology. He is interested in doing research in a similar vein to finding a novel vector to realize siRNA-based therapies for HIV.

Finke explained how his curiosity of the subject was first peaked, saying, “it all started when my high school biology teacher took me to volunteer at the Seattle Lifelong AIDS alliance. I was struck by the complexity and the horror of the virus,” he stated, “and almost immediately, I started thinking what its weaknesses could be.”

At Carleton, Finke is involved in numerous extracurricular activities. He is a member of the SCUBA dive club and the club rugby squad. He also cultures yeast for Three Oaks Brewery (a student club) and enjoys skiing and biking.

After completing his undergraduate studies, Finke plans to spend time working in a lab while also taking in the beauty of the natural world, saying he would like to “get lost outside [and] explore the other things that I love to do (mountain biking, road biking, hiking, whitewater kayaking, and downhill skiing) in both Idaho’s and the rest of the world’s wilderness before heading off to graduate school.”

James Morrissey is a chemistry and Chinese double major from New York who also discovered his passion for science while in high school. Ever since his sophomore year, he has dedicated time outside of school to working in labs at several medical schools. Much of Morrissey’s work has been focused on cancer research. During the summer of 2010, he did cancer stem cell research at Stanford Medical School.

Concerning these experiences, Morrissey said, “I was privileged to spend the summer working with leading researchers on novel therapies that may prove to be instrumental in the fight against cancer.” This summer, he will be “working on a book with the support of a Larson International Fellowship from Carleton, and studying Chinese in Xi’an, China.”

While studying at Carleton, Morrissey has been a Student Wellness Advisor, a member of the men’s track and field team, and been involved in Carleton’s Asia Students in America (ASIA) club.

In regards to being named a Goldwater Scholar, Morrissey stated, “I’m very pleased and honored to win a Goldwater Scholarship, and I intend to continue to pursue my interests in science, health care and technology in the future.”

In 1986, Congress created the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program to honor senator Barry M. Goldwater. As a member of the US armed forces and a senator, Goldwater was dedicated to serving his country. His foundation is dedicated to “provid[ing] a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields.”

Of the 1,095 nominees for the 2011-2012 school year, 275 were awarded to undergraduate students from the United States based on their academic merit. 170 of the Scholars are men, 105 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their degree objective. 24 Scholars are mathematics majors, 194 are science and related majors, 52 are majoring in engineering, and 5 are computer science majors. Many of the Scholars have dual majors in a variety of mathematics, science, engineering, and computer disciplines.

The scholarships, which range from one to two years, are intended to cover the cost of “tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.” Over the course of its history, the Foundation has awarded over 6,600 scholarships that, combined, are worth “approximately fifty million dollars.”

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