University of Rochester

University of Rochester Students Awarded National Scholarships

May 2, 2003

Six University of Rochester students have received scholarships from prestigious national award programs.

For the second year in a row, three Rochester students have been named Goldwater Scholars: junior Gautam Altekar of Plano, Texas, who is majoring in computer science and minoring in mathematics; junior Maximilian Popp of Webster, who is majoring in molecular genetics and chemistry; and junior Sarah Zubairy of College Station, Texas, who is majoring in mathematics and minoring in economics.

Kofi Mensah was selected to receive a 2003 United Negro College Fund (UNCF)-Merck undergraduate research scholarship. A junior from New York City, Mensah is a microbiology major with a double minor in Spanish and in health and society.

Kathrine Schultz, a senior optics major and German minor from Webster, is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship.

Senior Prabhjot Dhadialla was awarded a National Institutes of Health Medical Scientist Training Predoctoral Fellowship. He is from Chalfort, Penn., and is majoring in both biological sciences and history.

The Goldwater Scholarship, which is endowed by the U.S. Congress to honor the late Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, is designed to encourage outstanding students to pursue advanced degrees and careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic merit as well as research experience and promise; scholars receive a grant of up to $7,500 to cover tuition, fees, books, and room and board. A total of 300 scholarships from 1,093 nominees were awarded this year.

As one of 15 UNCF-Merck Undergraduate Research Fellows in the nation for 2003, Mensah is entitled to a scholarship award up to $25,000, two paid summer internships at a Merck research facility, and professional mentoring by a Merck scientist. In addition, his major department is eligible to receive a grant of up to $10,000 to support research and student scholarships. The goal of the UNCF-Merck scholarship program is to increase the number of world-class minority scholars in scientific research fields. Mensah is the first University of Rochester undergraduate to win this award.

As a Fulbright Scholar, Schultz will travel to Friedrich-Schiller Universitaet in Jena, Germany, this summer, where she will conduct research in the field of optical metrology for a year. The grant, part of a program established by Congress to promote international understanding, covers tuition and fees and provides a stipend to cover living expenses.

The NIH Medical Scientist Training Predoctoral Fellowship is awarded to support medical and graduate research training leading to both M.D. and Ph.D degrees. Dhadialla, who also was awarded a Goldwater Scholarship in 2002, plans to pursue a career as a physician and researcher.

In addition, six other University of Rochester undergraduate students were named finalists or earned honorable mentions in other national award programs.