Two University of Minnesota students named 2016 Goldwater Scholars

April 4, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (April 4, 2016) -- Two undergraduates in the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities have been named 2016 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars.  The prestigious, competitive scholarship is awarded annually to outstanding sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research-oriented careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.  The scholarship awards up to $7500 per year for two years of undergraduate study.  Both Scholars are juniors enrolled in the College of Science and Engineering and the University Honors Program.

Stephanie Hart of Grand Rapids, Minnesota is a junior Chemistry and Chemical Engineering  major who plans to complete a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry and conduct research in renewable energy systems.  She traces her interest in solving environmental challenges to her childhood experiences camping, hiking and skiing in northern Minnesota.  Despite not having a particularly strong background in math and science when she entered the University, Hart discovered a passion for chemistry in her first year courses and began working as an assistant in the lab of Professor Reneé Frontiera.  There she has been using stimulated Raman spectroscopy to examine ultrafast structural dynamics driving singlet fission in organic molecules with applications to the development of photovoltaic materials.  For her research, Hart has been awarded a Thomas Dubruil Memorial Award for Outstanding  Achievement in Undergraduate Research by the Department of Chemistry, and she will spend the summer of 2016 as an Amgen Scholar at MIT.  Hart is committed to helping other young women succeed in the sciences and engineering, volunteering with the “Chemists in the Library” and “Energy and U” programs at the University.  She is also a member of the University of Minnesota Cycling Team and Nordic Ski Team.

Anthony Tabet, a junior Chemical Engineering major from New Brighton, Minnesota arrived at the University as a PSEO student intent on studying Philosophy and Political Science, but the opportunities offered by the University have led him to a variety of research experiences.  An engaging chemistry class taken by chance led him to the lab of Professor Aaron Massari while still a high school senior.  In the Massari Lab he studied the morphology and absorption properties of organic polymer films for solar energy applications.  At the same time, he began working with University Medical School researchers David Largaespada and Igor Nestrasil to study enzyme deficiencies in patients with Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS).  More recently, he has joined the lab of Biomedical Engineering Professor Chung Wang to develop biocompatible, biodegradable parenteral drug delivery platforms.  Outside of the University, Tabet has worked for Activated Research Company of Eden Prairie, Minnesota to develop reactive chromatography technology for improved analytical testing, and he is a co-founder of CoCreate Ventures, a public benefit corporation that provides mentoring and resources to help young entrepreneurs collaboratively develop product ideas.  Tabet is also active on campus with the Maronite Youth Group and the Comebacks A Capella Group.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Sen. Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U. S. Senate.  This year 252 scholars were selected nationwide from a field of more than 1200 students who were nominated by their colleges and universities.  Each institution may nominate up to four students.

Since the inception of the program, 61 undergraduates at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities have been named Goldwater Scholars.

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities students who are interested in applying for the scholarship in the future may consult the Office of National and International Scholarships by visiting www.honors.umn.edu/scholarships or by contacting Timothy Jones at natschol@umn.edu.

For more information on the Goldwater Scholarship, visit goldwater.scholarsapply.org/index.php.

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