Penn State's 2014 Goldwater Scholars announced

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program recently announced the complete list of winners for the 2014–15 academic year. The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship is a distinguished undergraduate scholarship initiative that provides up to $7,500 a year for college sophomores and juniors in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering. This competitive award is granted to up to 300 students nationwide.

Two students from the Penn State University Park campus were awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for 2014-15. The students are Ryan Henrici and Alexander McMenamin. In addition, Katie Annmarie Legenski, a student who transferred to University Park from Penn State Berks, was named a 2014 Barry Goldwater Honorable Mentions recipient.

Henrici is a biochemistry and molecular biology major with interest in attending either medical or graduate school to learn more about the biology of cancer and gene regulation. He would like to conduct translational research in tumorigenesis and design novel therapeutics. Upon winning this award, Henrici said, "My motivation for applying for the Goldwater was to earn recognition for the work I have been doing and to earn scholarship money. The scholarship also allows me to showcase my work alongside the best and brightest undergraduate researchers in the country. The Undergraduate Fellowships Office was absolutely instrumental in helping me get this scholarship."

McMenamin is an Immunology major and intends to pursue a  doctorate in entomology or studies related to population dynamics. He would like to conduct research on disease pathogenicity and teach at the university level. McMenamin said, "Receiving the Goldwater will impact my career as an academic and a scientist in two really important ways: it will reduce my need to put myself into further debt, and it will stand as a marker for others to see that I am serious about my work and my education."

"The Goldwater has historically rewarded students who are capable of creative independent research initiatives early in their careers," said Ruth Mendum, director of Penn State's University Fellowships Office. "Ryan, Alex and Katie will be leaders in solving the difficult and interdisciplinary challenges we face as a global society."

The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,166 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. One hundred seventy-two of the scholars are men, 111 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a doctorate as their degree objective. Twenty-two Scholars are mathematics majors, 191 are science and related majors, 63 are majoring in engineering, and 7 are computer science majors. Many of the scholars have dual majors in a variety of mathematics, science, engineering, and computer disciplines.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was authorized by the United States Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years in the U.S. Senate. The creation of this program pays tribute to the leadership, courage and vision of Senator Goldwater and establishes in his name an endowed recognition program to foster and encourage excellence in science and mathematics.

The purpose of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, as stated in the enabling legislation, is to alleviate a critical current and future shortage of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers. A more realistic statement of the purpose, in today's terms, is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified individuals to those fields of academic study and research.

The foundation is supported by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Fund, which has been established in the Treasury of the United States. Funding for awards and administrative expenses derives from interest on the Trust Fund, invested in U.S. securities.

For more information about the Goldwater Scholarship, visit

Last Updated March 26, 2014