University of Rochester

University of Rochester Students Awarded Goldwater Scholarships

March 27, 2006

University of Rochester juniors Elise B. Peterson and Stephen Privitera have been named 2006 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars. The Goldwater Scholarship, which is endowed by the U.S. Congress to honor the late Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, is designed to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields.

Since 2000, 14 University of Rochester undergraduate students have been named Goldwater Scholars. Peterson and Privitera were two of the four Rochester nominees for this national honor following a rigorous campus selection process that included a pool of 18 applicants. A third Rochester junior, Ferhina S. Ali, a neuroscience major from Staten Island, N.Y., received honorable mention. This year, Peterson and Privitera were among 323 scholarship recipients chosen from a nationwide pool of 1,081 applicants.

Peterson is working toward a Bachelor of Science degree in molecular genetics and a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. A resident of Portsmouth, Va., she plans to complete a doctorate in genetics and pursue a career in university teaching and genetics research. Peterson has worked in an Alzheimer's research laboratory at the University of Rochester Medical Center since her freshman year and spent last summer doing research at the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis. She is managing editor of the Journal of Undergraduate Research published by the University's College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering; leads organic chemistry workshops; holds a leadership position with the community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega; is a member of the Medieval Society; and participates in women's club crew.

A resident of East Aurora, N.Y., Privitera is pursuing the Honors Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and a Bachelor of Science degree in physics. He is currently working on a research project in theoretical astrophysics and serves as a workshop leader and teaching assistant for a variety of math and physics classes. He is also a member of the University's cricket club. Last summer, Privitera participated in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program funded by the National Science Foundation and conducted a mathematics research project at Notre Dame University. He was selected from a pool of 150 applicants for one of the five REU slots reserved for non-Notre Dame students. Privitera intends to pursue a doctoral degree in applied mathematics or theoretical physics and then teach and conduct research.