Hagen '07 Wins Goldwater Scholarship
Katharine Hagen, a sophomore biochemistry major at Occidental College, has been awarded a prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.
The $15,000 award, given annually to students intending to pursue careers in math, science, engineering, and computer disciplines, will be divided between Hagen’s junior and senior years.
Hagen, of River Falls, Wisc., is among 320 Goldwater Scholarship winners from across the United States. She was selected from a field of nearly 1,100 applicants. The award will help cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board. Hagen is joined in the honor by Occidental math major David Collins ’06 of Bakersfield. The pair are the 22nd and 23rd Occidental students to win a Goldwater Scholarship sine 1990.
“I am extremely honored and thankful to have been selected as a Goldwater scholar,” Hagen said. “This would not have been possible without the support of the chemistry and biochemistry professors who have provided me with wonderful opportunities and challenges in both the classroom and the laboratory.”
Hagen’s current research focuses on understanding the role of metals such as iron, copper, cobalt and manganese in cellular functions. Specifically, she is studying Hemophilia A, which is carried by a mutation in a copper-containing enzyme. “I’m investigating the function of this enzyme, the role of its copper co-factor, and how the mutation in this enzyme results in Hemophilia A,” Hagen says. “Ultimately, understanding these fundamentals could enable the development of new therapeutics for this disorder.”
Hagen plans to pursue a doctorate in virology, and she ultimately hopes to direct her own laboratory investigating highly infectious diseases and new modes of diagnosis and prevention.
In addition to the Goldwater Scholarship, Hagen has received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Summer Research Fellowship, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Apprenticeship Grant, and a Sherman Fairchild Foundation Fellowship.
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation is a federally endowed agency honoring the late Arizona senator. In its 17-year history, the foundation has awarded more than 4,500 scholarships worth about $45 million.