Two students awarded high profile scholarship
While scholarships primarily benefit their recipients, sometimes they also benefit those around the recipient, including their respective institution.
“The other thing I think these kind of awards do is, they give credibility to the university — that the students that come here are going to be very, very successful,” said Alton Campbell, director of the University of Idaho Honors Program. “They’re mentored well and they have lots of research opportunities.”
Two UI students were recently selected to receive two of 260 Goldwater Scholarships awarded to students across the U.S. this year. The winners were selected from more than a thou- sand applicants involved with undergraduate research and with a focus on the STEM fields.
Each recipient will receive up to $7,500 per year for school related ex- penses for up to two years. The two UI winners are Elyce Gosselin, a sophomore majoring in ecology and conservation biology and mathematics, and Ben Anzis, a senior is majoring in mathematics and computer science.
Campbell said the two students have been involved with research projects and professional papers, which have helped show their dedication to continuing education and working toward a higher-level education.
“They had sought out faculty, and had gotten involved right away … and then they have each been involved in probably three or more undergraduate projects,” he said. “I think Ben has published three papers and Elyce is about ready to submit one, and she’s on a trajectory to probably publish three or more papers before she graduates.”
Gosselin said she didn’t expect to win when she first applied, and her main goal this year was to increase her research and writing experience.
“I just kind of applied to practice writing essays like this and so that maybe next year I would have the materials prepared so I could apply again,” she said.
Gosselin said she has worked on multiple projects with faculty and researchers at the university. Her work has ranged from testing genetic sampling methods to studying the way Harvester Ants affect their environments.
“I’ve also been able to go and present my research findings to some people, and I’ll do a couple more presentations throughout the semester,” Gosselin said. “I went to the Idaho Chapter of the Wildlife Society meeting last month and presented there, and that was a really awesome experience.”
Although Gosselin said she has no primary areas of interest within her field yet, she said she plans to spend the second half of her time as an un- dergraduate experimenting in different areas of ecology and conservation biology.
Gosselin said she is starting to understand the different ways of looking at ecological issues. She said her interest in these subjects was major part of what drew her to study science.
“I’ve always been really passionate about environmental issues, and I’ve also just always really enjoyed science, so that seems like a good area of biology for me to study,” she said. “And that was one of the reasons I was drawn to the University of Idaho.”
Daphne Jackson can be reached at email@example.com