JMU Junior Earns Goldwater Scholarship

From: Public Affairs

April 8, 2008


Physics major Jamey Szalay is one of 278 students nationwide to receive a Goldwater Scholarship. The junior is the second JMU student to earn the scholarship in the past three years.

More information about prestigious scholarships at JMU is available at: www.jmu.edu/honorsprog/scholarships.shtml.

A classmate had to talk Jamey Szalay into applying for a scholarship, and then at the last minute of the application process, Szalay found himself scrambling to get one more letter of recommendation.

To say it all worked out would be a bit of an understatement. Szalay, a junior from Winchester, found out a week ago that he was awarded one of 278 Goldwater Scholarships for the 2009-2010 academic year. Szalay's application was one of 1,097 considered by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

The Goldwater Scholarship was established in 1986 to support highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers by awarding scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue careers in these fields. Goldwater Scholars and honorable mentions were selected on the basis of merit from a field of mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by their colleges and universities.

Szalay is majoring in physics and is the second JMU student to earn the prestigious scholarship in the past three years. Katherine Kross received the award in 2007. The Goldwater foundation recognized two JMU students, Jeremy Harris and Rachel Mutnick, with honorable mentions in 2008.

Szalay could receive up to $7,500 for tuition, books or room and board expenses. The amount he receives will be based on financial records and has yet to be determined.

For the past two summers, Szalay has been doing internships at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Columbia, Md., working on a project to develop an instrument for monitoring radiation inside spacecraft. Much of his research has been in particle physics.

Szalay credits his high-school physics teacher for sparking his interest in the field and the JMU physics department for providing a top-notch undergraduate experience.

"I'd like to thank the JMU physics department for providing an excellent undergraduate education in physics," he said.

More information about the scholarship can be found at the Goldwater Foundation Web site: www.act.org/goldwater/yyschrel.html.

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