Three Lehigh students and one university staff member were singled out for prestigious scholarships this semester, including Fulbright scholarships to Christopher MacDonald ’05 and Carolyn Shemwell ’02, ‘03G, and a Goldwater scholarship to Stephen Eckel ‘06 and James Neilson ‘06.
MacDonald will graduate this May with a degree in electrical engineering and engineering physics, and Shemwell currently serves as manager of special projects for the provost’s office.
Since its inception in 1946, more than 250,000 participants have had the opportunity to explore foreign political, economic and cultural institutions through the Fulbright Program, the namesake of former U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, who believed international education was central to the promotion of "mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries of the world."
In order to be considered for a Fulbright scholarship, applicants must complete a written explanation describing the projects they would carry out if awarded the grant. In addition, applicants must write an essay describing themselves and their goals.
MacDonald plans on traveling to Australia to continue his interest in the study of heart disease. Shemwell will travel to Argentina to work as a teaching assistant at a training college for English teachers, and will stay in the country from March to November, 2006.
The Goldwater Scholarship program honors Senator Barry M. Goldwater and is designed to foster and encourage prominent students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. It is the premier undergraduate award of its kind and offers the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year for each recipient.
This year’s Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of more than 1,000 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities across the country.
In commenting on the four scholarship opportunities presented to Lehigh this year, Ian Duffy, professor of history, noted that it is highly unusual for the university to receive so many awards in one academic year.
“To win two of each is certainly cause for celebration,” Duffy says. “All four of the winners are outstanding students who presented impeccable applications and their successes are richly deserved.”