Willamette students and alumni earn national awards for academics and research

Nine Willamette University students and recent alumni earned ten prestigious national awards this spring, providing them with scholarships for research, graduate school, internships and study abroad.

These scholars captured awards in a wide breadth of fields, from the sciences to public service to business to government policy — a reflection of Willamette's comprehensive liberal arts education.

This year's national award-winners include:

Hertz Foundation Fellowship

Jeff Weber '10, a chemistry and mathematics major, was one of only 15 students from nearly 600 applicants nationwide to earn a $250,000 Hertz Fellowship for innovative leaders in the applied sciences and engineering.

The award supports up to five years of graduate studies and is the nation's most generous doctoral fellowship. Weber was the only winner to come from a small liberal arts university — the rest attend large, research-oriented schools, including MIT, Stanford, Berkeley and Harvard.

Weber is heading to Stanford's chemistry PhD program. He also was accepted to Harvard, Caltech, Princeton, MIT and Columbia.

Harry S. Truman Scholarship

Hannah Harper '11, an African studies major with minors in chemistry and Spanish, was named a Truman Scholar. The award provides up to $30,000 for graduate school to college juniors who plan to pursue careers in government or elsewhere in public service.

Harper, who plans to earn an MD/PhD and work to fight the AIDS pandemic in Africa, will participate in leadership development programs and have opportunities for internships and employment with the federal government.

Fulbright Grants

Caitlin Casebolt '10 won a Fulbright Grant for U.S. Students. Fulbrights place recent graduates in countries around the world to take classes, pursue graduate degrees, teach English or undertake research or creative projects. Casebolt, an anthropology major and German minor, will teach English in Germany.

Randall Cass '08 also earned a Fulbright Grant for U.S. Students. The international studies major will study at the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Chile while researching the role of agriculture in establishing food security. He spent the past two years serving in AmeriCorps as an environmental educator for Oregon Tilth.

Ivo Dimitrov '08 won a European Union Fulbright Grant. Dimitrov, a Bulgarian native who majored in history and Spanish, will spend a year at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain, where he will research historical reconciliation efforts. He is earning a master's degree in European governance at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Individual Advanced Research Opportunities Fellowship

Ivo Dimitrov '08 also earned a $7,200 Individual Advanced Research Opportunities Fellowship, through the International Research & Exchanges Board, which helps students, scholars and professionals perform policy field research in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. He will spend three months in Bulgaria interviewing members of parliament about the country's lack of historical reconciliation efforts following five decades of Communist rule.

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

Charlotte Osborne '11 was named a Goldwater Scholar, a $7,500 scholarship for students planning careers in math, the sciences or engineering. Osborne, a chemistry major and psychology minor, plans to earn a PhD in organic chemistry.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

The National Science Foundation awarded Alex Compton '06 a Graduate Research Fellowship, which provides $30,000 annually for up to three years to students with extraordinary promise in the sciences, mathematics or engineering. Compton, who majored in biology, is pursuing a PhD in molecular and cellular biology at the University of Washington.

NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

Chris Platano '10, an economics major and politics minor, earned a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, which provides $7,500 for graduate school to outstanding scholar-athletes. Platano competed in cross country and track and field at Willamette, and he now works as an operations analyst for Intel. He plans to use his scholarship to attend business school.

James S. Kemper Foundation Scholarship

Keith Fakhoury '13 was selected as a Kemper Scholar, which prepares him for leadership and service, especially in the fields of administration and business. The economics major will receive annual scholarships and stipends for internships during the summers after his sophomore and junior years.

Honorable mentions

Environmental science major Peter Henry '11 received an honorable mention for the Udall Scholarship, an award for students seeking careers related to the environment.

Biology graduate Mariah Mayfield '07 earned an honorable mention for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She is studying in Montana State University's fish and wildlife graduate program.

For more information on national scholarships for students, visit Student Academic Grants and Awards.