Female Undergraduates Receive National Scholarships-Mellon College of Science - Carnegie Mellon University

Friday, April 22, 2005

Female Undergraduates Receive National Scholarships

What do a future physicist/creative writer, chemical/biomedical engineer and decision scientist/environmental policy expert have in common? They're all female Carnegie Mellon students whose recent scholarship awards prove that women not only study science, they excel at it. Sophomore Jennifer Anttonen and junior Anita Shukla were two of 320 students nationwide to receive Barry M. Goldwater scholarships, while junior Isabella Cederquist was one of 80 Morris K. Udall Scholarship recipients.

Jennifer Anttonen

Gregg Franklin, associate dean of the Mellon College of Science, calls Anttonen an "excellent researcher. After an initial discussion she will go off on her own to gather material and develop a sound foundation for her work. ... Jennifer's willingness to put such effort into her work, combined with her natural abilities, will allow her to be successful in whatever career path she chooses."

That excellence in research resulted in a $15,000 Barry M. Goldwater scholarship for the physics and creative writing major. A native of Argyle, Texas, Anttonen plans to pursue an advanced degree and ultimately teach physics at a research university. She is president of the Society of Physics Students and serves on several student advisory councils. She also conducts research with Franklin and the Experimental Medium Energy Group.

Anttonen completed an internship last summer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md., in atomic spectroscopy. This summer she plans to work with neutrino oscillations at the California Institute of Technology.

Anita Shukla

"Anita has extensive research experience for someone of her age," says Lynn Walker, associate professor ofchemical engineering. "She performed full-time independent research during the summer at MIT and the University of Rhode Island. Her involvement in these activities at such an early stage in her career attests to her maturity and drive."

Her Goldwater Scholarship of $7,500 also attests to that drive.

A chemical engineering and biomedical engineering major from Wakefield, R.I., Shukla plans to pursue an advanced degree and eventually teach and conduct research in chemical and biomedical engineering. She is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers. Shukla works as a tutor and serves as an elected member of Carnegie Mellon's Chemical Engineering Student Advisory Council.

The scholarship program honoring Senator Barry M. Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. In its 17-year history, the foundation has awarded 4,562 scholarships worth approximately $45 million.

Isabella Cederquist

Cederquist clinched her bid for the Morris K. Udall Scholarship with an essay on the congressman's 1974 speech to the National Wildlife Federation entitled, "The Environment at Valley Forge."

"In this speech, Udall speaks about the importance of organization, compromise and sustainable living in advancing the environmental movement," Cederquist says. "I agree with his points, and I think one of the best ways to strengthen the movement is to educate the public, especially young people, about environmental solutions."

Cederquist, a decision science and environmental policy major from Ann Arbor, Mich., is president and co-founder of Sustainable Students, a project-based environmental organization. She is studying environmental policy abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, this semester.

"Isabella's ultimate goal is to serve and to make a difference in the environmental arena by working through mechanisms of law and policy making," says Indira Nair, vice provost for education and professor of engineering and public policy. "She supplements her formal studies by understanding and addressing how people make decisions, especially in regard to their environmental habits and practices."

The Udall Scholarship honors college sophomores and juniors with outstanding potential and a commitment to pursuing careers related to the environment. They also recognize Native American and Alaska Native students who have demonstrated outstanding potential and a commitment to careers related to tribal public policy or health care. The Morris K. Udall Foundation was established by the U.S. Congress in 1992 to honor Udall's 30 years of service in the House of Representatives. 

By: Jenni King