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Sophomore at Le Moyne Awarded Goldwater Scholarship

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (For immediate release...) Nick Stam, a sophomore biology major from Syracuse, has been awarded the most prestigious honor given to an undergraduate student in math, science or engineering: a Goldwater Scholarship. In receiving this scholarship, Stam joins a select group of students nationwide; only 23 other students from New York were honored with a Goldwater Scholarship. In all, 278 students were selected this year, from a field of 1,097 applicants.

Stam is the second Le Moyne student to receive the honor in recent years; he joins Mike Feeley, who was a Goldwater recipient in 2004.

"The competition for this national award is fierce and this honor speaks extremely well about the quality of our undergraduate scholarship program at Le Moyne, and to the commitment of our faculty who mentor our students with their research programs," said Provost Linda LeMura. "I would like to extend my thanks to Professor Beth Mitchell, who mentored Nick with his line of research, and also to Professor Larry Tanner, who assisted Nick with his Goldwater application."

Stam was thrilled, and surprised, when he learned of the honor. "This scholarship will open many additional doors to graduate school and other opportunities," he said. "I am excited to see where this takes me!"

His current plans are to obtain an M.D./Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, and he would like to ultimately conduct research in biomedical science and teach at the university level.

He already has gotten a real-world taste of what researching is all about. Nick has been doing research with Dr. Mitchell at Le Moyne since his first semester freshman year, studying flagellar motility in the model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. (Defects in the structure or function of flagella have been linked to a wide variety of human diseases.) Last summer in a lab at SUNY-ESF he conducted research on developing a more cost-effective biodegradable plastic. His research focused on making an environmentally friendly, cornstarch-based plastic with a relatively inexpensive filler derived from woody biomass such as trees.

Established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, the program provides a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields. Over the past 23 years, more than 5,000 students have been awarded in excess of $50 million in scholarships through the program. To learn more about the scholarship and view a list of this year's winners, click here.

posted on: 4/10/2009