Four Top Students Nominated for Goldwater Scholarship

Honors & Undergraduate Research has announced that four outstanding undergraduates have been selected as official University Nominees for the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, to be awarded in early April. The nominees are Derek Allums, a junior Mathematics major, Christopher Benson, a junior Physics and Mechanical Engineering double-major, Matthew Grunewald, a junior Biochemistry and Genetics double-major, and David Mathai, a sophomore Biochemistry and Genetics double-major. Grunewald was named as an Honorable Mention in last year’s competition.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program is the United States’ premier undergraduate scholarship program for math, science, and engineering students. It recognizes approximately 300 students each year for their achievement and potential for significant contributions to their respective fields of research. Each scholarship covers eligible expenses for tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to an annual maximum of $7,500. Goldwater Scholars go on to prestigious research careers in math, science, and engineering, and many later win such prestigious awards as the Rhodes Scholarship and Marshall Scholarships, as well as fellowships from the Hertz or National Science Foundations.

Since 2000, Texas A&M has produced 21 Goldwater Scholars. In the 2010 competition, Molecular and Cell Biology major Ashwathi “Abbee” Mohan and Physics and Math major Tyler Behm were selected as Goldwater Scholars. Other recent notable Aggie Goldwater Scholars include Rhodes Scholarship finalist Andrew Matteson ’08, Hertz Foundation Fellow Luke Hunter ’08, and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship recipients Brian Sedio ’07 and Agustin Mohedas ‘07.

For more information, please contact Kyle Mox, National Fellowships Coordinator at 845-1957 or kemox@tamu.edu.

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Applications Accepted for Presidential Fellows Program

The office of Undergraduate Studies is seeking a nominee to represent Texas A&M as a Presidential Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, a non-partisan, non-profit group that conducts major conferences and working sessions on the Presidency and critical governance issues. The CSP also publishes the Presidential Studies Quarterly and a number of scholarly books each year.

The CSP Presidential Fellows Program is a unique, non-residential program that offers 75 select students from leading colleges and universities a year-long opportunity to study all aspects of the American Presidency and the public policy-making process, with the objective of developing a new generation of national leaders who are committed to public service.

Each Fellow undertakes an original research project on an aspect of the modern Presidency and produces a 15-page research paper. Fellows also attend fall and spring leadership conferences in Washington DC.

Students from all academic majors are eligible to apply, but viable candidates must have 1) Strong academic credentials; 2) A demonstrated interest in the institution of the Presidency; and 3) An interest in public policy and public service.

To learn how to apply for university nomination to the Presidential Fellows program, contact Kyle Mox – kemox@tamu.edu or 845-1957.

A&M Phi Kappa Phi Chapter to Nominate Student for $15K Fellowship

Every year, the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi awards fifty-seven Fellowships of $5,000 each and three at $15,000 each to members entering the first year of graduate or professional study. Each Phi Kappa Phi chapter may select one candidate from among its local applicants to compete for the Society-wide awards.  The deadline to apply for this award is April 1, 2011.  For complete information, visit http://honors.tamu.edu/Fellowships/Application%20Procedures.html#PKPFellowship.

Eligibility

  • Open to all active Phi Kappa Phi members (annual dues paid through March 31, 2011) or those who have accepted membership by June 30, 2011. Applications will be accepted from individuals selected for membership but not yet initiated.
  • Have applied to enroll as a full-time student in a post-baccalaureate program of study for the 2011-2012 academic year. Students in all professional or graduate fields are eligible.

Selection Criteria

Selection is based on the applicant’s promise of success in graduate or professional study, including academic achievement, service and leadership experience, letters of recommendation, personal statement and career goals, and acceptance at an approved graduate or professional program.

Application Process

The PKP Graduate Fellowship application is available at: http://www.phikappaphi.org/Web/Awards/Fellowship.html Applicants may complete the application online, print it out, and submit it with the other required materials to the Texas A&M PKP Chapter:

Ms. Barbara A. Lee
203 Jack K. Williams Administration Building
College Station TX 77843-1125

The Texas A&M PKP chapter will select one applicant as a nominee for the competition.

Two Aggie Honors Students Selected as Truman Finalists

Two Texas A&M University students—Omar El-Halwagi and Lauren Prew—have been selected as finalists for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, which provides up to $30,000 for students who are pursuing careers in public service.  Between 60 and 75 Truman Scholars are annually selected from a national pool of nearly 1,000 applicants, each of whom was nominated by their college or university. The most recent Texas A&M student to be selected as a Truman Scholar was Kellie (Sims) Butler, in 1994

Omar El-Halwagi

Omar El-Halwagi will interview on March 11 at Texas Wesleyan University Law School in Fort Worth, Texas. A graduate of A&M Consolidated High School in College Station, El-Halwagi is a Management and Business Honors major with a minor in Communications. He is the co-founder and president of the Texas A&M Speech and Debate Team and was the 2009 national champion in extemporaneous speaking. He has been the Administrative Coordinator the Freshman Business Initiative and has proposed and led his own special topics course for the Mays Business School. A participant in the 2009 China-US Relations Conference, El-Halwagi has also interned with the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the Public Policy Internship Program. After graduation, he will pursue a joint degree in law and social policy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. In the long term, he hopes to build a career as an employment discrimination lawyer and, later, a public official.

Lauren Prew

Lauren Prew will interview on March 17 at Seattle City Hall.  A graduate of Timberline High School in Boise, Idaho, Prew is an English, Creative Writing, major with a minor in Chemistry.  A University Scholar and a National Merit Scholar, she is a member of the Aggie Democrats and an avid athlete, playing soccer and training for marathons and triathlons.  Ms. Prew has volunteered with the Brazos Valley Rehabilitation Center, St. Joseph’s Hospital, and the Physician Centre Hospital, and this past summer was one of two students selected from a nationwide pool to intern with the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore, MD, through the Women’s Health Initiative for the Foundation of NIH Research.  After graduation, she will pursue a degree in law at Arizona State’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and establish a career in public health and policy, possibly with the FDA or Department of Health and Human Services.

In addition to the $30,000 scholarship award, Truman Scholars also engage in a number of programs, including the Truman Scholarship Leadership Week, held at the Truman Library in Jewell, Missouri; the Truman Scholar Summer Institute, which provides internships and seminars in Washington DC; and the Truman-Albright Fellows Program, which provides Truman Scholars the opportunity to engage in a year-long fellowship with a number of governmental agencies and public service organizations.

Scholars will be announced on March 28, 2011. In the last ten years, nine Aggies have progressed to finalist, the most recent being International Studies major Karthik Venkatraj ’10.

Established by Congress in 1975, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation is the official federal memorial to the nation’s 33rd president.  The foundation awards $30,000 scholarships to undergraduates who wish to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or public service.  Truman Scholars are recognized as “change agents” and have the “passion, intellect, and leadership potential that in time should enable them to improve the ways that public entities…serve the public good.”  Notable Truman Scholars include Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, broadcaster and political advisor George Stephanopoulos, US Ambassador to the UN Susan E. Rice, and Ford Foundation President Luis Ubiñas.

For more information, please contact Kyle Mox, National Fellowships Coordinator, Honors & Undergraduate Research, at 845-1957 or kemox@tamu.edu.

Four Outstanding Juniors Nominated for Truman Scholarship

Four outstanding Texas A&M University students have been selected as Institutional Nominees for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, which provides up to $30,000 for students who are pursuing careers in public service. Between 60 and 75 Truman Scholars are selected from a pool of national pool of nearly 1,000 applicants.

A graduate of Skyline Center High School in Dallas, Valecia Battle is a Management major with minors in Africana Studies and Philosophy. A University Scholar, Century Scholar, and Mays Business Fellow, she is the chair and director of speakers for the MSC Cater G. Woodson Black Awareness Committee and is a founder of the Matthew Gaines Initiative. Ms. Battle volunteers with the Boys and Girls Club and Helping One Student to Succeed, and she is the campus campaign coordinator for Teach For America. After graduation, she plans to participate in Teach For American and then pursue an M.S. in Education at Johns Hopkins University before continuing on to Harvard Law School. In the long term, she hopes to open a number of magnet schools in Baltimore and Washington DC.

Omar El-Halwagi, a graduate of A&M Consolidated High School in College Station, is a Management and Business Honors major with a minor in Communications. He is the president of the Texas A&M Speech and Debate Team and was the 2009 national champion in extemporaneous speaking. He has been the Administrative Coordinator the Freshman Business Initiative and has proposed and led his own special topics course for the Mays Business School. A participant in the 2009 China-US Relations Conference, Mr. El-Halwagi also interned with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington, DC. After graduation, he will pursue a joint degree in law and social policy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. In the long term, he hopes to build a career as an employment discrimination lawyer and, later, a public official.

A graduate of Timberline High School in Boise, Idaho, Lauren Prew is an English, Creative Writing, major with a minor in Chemistry. A University Scholar and a National Merit Scholar, she is a member of the Aggie Democrats and an avid athlete, playing soccer and training for marathons and triathlons. Ms. Prew has volunteered with the Brazos Valley Rehabilitation Center, St. Joseph’s Hospital, and the Physician Centre Hospital, and she recently interned with the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore, MD. After graduation, she will pursue a degree in law at Arizona State’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and establish a career in public health and policy, possibly with the FDA or Department of Health and Human Services.

A graduate of Sharyland High School in Mission, Leslye Womack is an International Studies major, with minors in Spanish and Sociology. An Alexander Hamilton Scholar and a University Scholar and a member of the Academy for Future International Leaders, she has been the director of development for Student Leaders of Tomorrow and a mentor with MSC Aggie Leaders of Tomorrow. She recently interned with Twin City Mission and is a Global Ambassador Program intern. After graduating from Texas A&M, she will volunteer with the Peace Corps before pursuing a Master of International Relations degree at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Ms. Womack plans to work for the US Department of State, focusing on issues related to drug enforcement and gang violence along the US-Mexican border.

Established by Congress in 1975, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation is the official federal memorial to the nation’s 33rd president. The foundation awards $30,000 scholarships to undergraduates who wish to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or public service. Truman Scholars are recognized as “change agents” and have the “passion, intellect, and leadership potential that in time should enable them to improve the ways that public entities…serve the public good.”

Finalists will be announced by February 25. Students selected as finalists will then be invited to interview with one of several regional committees comprised of Truman alumni and leaders from industry and the public sector. In the last ten years, nine Aggies have progressed to finalist, the most recent being International Studies major Karthik Venkatraj ’10.

For more information, please contact Kyle Mox, National Fellowships Coordinator, Honors & Undergraduate Research, at 845-1957 or kemox@tamu.edu.

Applications Now Accepted for $10,000 Astronaut Scholarship

To help the United States maintain its world leadership in science and technology, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation annually awards stipends of $10,000 to support outstanding students in math, science, and engineering.  The Foundation seeks to recognize college students who exhibit motivation, imagination, and exceptional performance in the science or engineering field of their major.

Eligibility:

To be eligible for the Astronaut Scholarship, a student must meet the following requirements:

  • Candidates must be nominated by faculty members. Students may not directly apply for the scholarship.
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  • Nominees must be U.S. citizens.
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  • Nominees must be engineering or natural or applied science (e.g. astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, computer science) or mathematics students with intentions to pursue research or advance their field upon completion of their final degrees. Students intending to pursue a practice in professional medicine are not eligible for the scholarship.
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  • The Astronaut Scholarship is awarded only to students entering their junior or senior year (as determined by time to graduation).
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  • Special consideration is not given to aeronautical/astronautical engineering students or those intending to pursue careers as astronauts.
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Although many students may be eligible to apply for this award, not all eligible students are competitive.  Astronaut Scholars are selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • High Academic Achievement: A GPA above 3.8 and evidence of “intellectual intensity” as shown by a demanding curriculum and accomplishments outside the classroom. Selection committees also look for indicators that the student will make significant future contributions in his or her chosen field.
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  • Commitment to a career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. Internships, research, and related employment strengthen a student’s application. Students should also have shown involvement in math, science, or engineering student or professional organizations. Activities not related to math, science, or engineering bear little weight, however.  Competitive applicants clearly demonstrate initiative, creativity, and excellence in their chosen field.
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  • Letters of recommendation: Evaluations should come from faculty members who can discuss your potential for a career in math, science, or engineering. At least one of these must be in the applicant’s field of study. Applicants who have done research must obtain a letter from the individual who supervised his or her work.
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Selection Process:

To apply for this award, students must first be nominated by the University.  The deadline to submit a completed application to Honors & Undergraduate Research is March 14, 2011. The University may nominate up to two students for this award. 

To be considered for University nomination, one must submit the following materials to the Honors Programs office:

  • A completed Faculty Nomination form accompanied by a letter of recommendation providing “examples of the [student’s] involvement and commitment to sciences beyond the formal classroom, as shown on the transcript, [recognizing that] creativity is an important attribute” in selecting Astronaut Scholars. 
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  • An additional letter of recommendation
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  • A short (i.e. one-page) statement that discusses the applicant’s interests, activities, and goals.
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  • A one- or two-page resume
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  • An official transcript of all colleges and universities attended (as a degree-seeking student)
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  • A completed Financial Summary Form.

Nominations and letters of Recommendation should be sent directly to

Honors & Undergraduate Research

c/o Astronaut Scholarship Committee

MS 4233, TAMU

College Station TX 77843

Direct all questions to Kyle Mox, National Scholarships Coordinator, at kemox@tamu.edu or 979.845.1957.

Honors Priority Registration Deadline March 4, Advising Offered

Honors & Undergraduate Research has announced that the upcoming deadline for students to request Honors Priority Registration (HPR) for Fall 2011 course registration is March 4.  HPR is a privilege afforded students who are pursuing one or more honors transcript distinctions. This privilege is intended to assist students in scheduling the rest of their courses around the relatively limited honors course offerings.  HPR occurs on the two days before the start of registration.

HPR Eligibility
Students are eligible for HPR if they are…

  1. Honors eligible AND
  2. meet the participation requirement.

The participation requirement is satisfied if the student is currently enrolled in an honors course OR if the student is an Honors Candidate (i.e. has completed nine or more credit hours of Honors course work at Texas A&M University).

HPR Request Procedure
To receive HPR privileges, students must request it via the Honors website, at http://honors.tamu.edu/curriculum/HonorsCourses_Registration.shtml

An Honors Candidate who has requested HPR will be granted an honors start time. Students who are not yet Honors Candidates must also complete an advising contact to ensure that they have a good understanding of the requirements for completing an honors transcript distinction.  Non-Honors candidates (i.e. students who have not yet completed nine credit hours of Honors course work at Texas A&M) will not receive HPR if they do not complete an advising contact.

To satisfy the advising contact requirement, students may…

  1. request a one-on-one advising appointment by contacting the Honors Programs office at 979-845-1957;
  2. listen to the podcast that is linked after completing the HPR request form; or
  3. attend one of the scheduled group advising sessions listed below:

January 24 – 3:00 PM – Rudder 402
January 27 – 2:30 PM – Rudder 402
February 1 – 11:30 AM – Rudder 402
February 2 – 10:30 AM – Rudder 402
February 11 – 3:00 PM – Henderson 103
February 14 – 4:30 PM – Rudder 402
February 17 – 9:45 AM – Rudder 402
February 22 – 1:30 PM – Henderson 103
February 28 – 10:30 AM – Henderson 103
March 4 – 2:30 PM – Rudder 402

From Promise to Achievement