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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Reed students Grace Brannigan, a junior physics major, and Joshua Schmidt, a junior chemistry major, have both been named Barry M. Goldwater Scholars for the 1999 2000 academic year. This prestigious, competitive scholarship is awarded to undergraduates who have outstanding potential and intend to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. The award, which covers expenses for tuition, books, room and board, and fees, was created by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, of Springfield, Virginia.

Grace Brannigan attended a math and science magnet program at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland, graduating in only three years. Brannigan has spent the last three summers doing scientific research. In the summer of 1996 she worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, analyzing the chemical content of strawberries grown in high levels of ellagic acid. During the summer of 1997 Brannigan worked full time at the National Institute of Mental Health, writing an interface for hardware used to produce visual, auditory, and tactile stimuli. The interface was used by scientists designing experiments to study the response of the brain to various stimuli. Last summer she worked with Reed chemistry professor Dan Gerrity, researching the multiphoton dissociation of organometallic molecules. Brannigan plans on earning a Ph.D. in physics or biophysics, eventually obtaining a faculty position at a research university. This summer she has an internship at the University of California, San Diego, working for physics professor Jose Onuchic on theoretical biophysics involving protein folding.

Joshua Schmidt is a graduate of Lake City High School in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Last summer Schmidt worked with Reed chemistry professor Margret Geselbracht synthesizing and characterizing layered perovskites (solids composed of several different metals, including early transition metals, and oxygen). In his research, Schmidt explored a new route for synthesizing these compounds, using molten salts as a solvent for the reaction. By studying these reactions, he hopes to be able to shed some light on some of the basic principles of the practical use of molten salts. This summer Schmidt is going to conduct research at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, as a Snyder fellow. His research will be related to organic chemistry. Earlier this year, Schmidt received Reed College's Steele-Reese scholarship.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was authorized by the United States Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who had served his country for 56 years as a soldier and a statesman. The purpose of the foundation is to provide the nation with a continuing source of highly qualified individuals in the fields of mathematics and science, as well as to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The foundation is supported by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Fund, which has been established by the United States Treasury. Including Brannigan and Schmidt, Reed students have received 11 Goldwater scholarships since 1991.