Two Win Goldwater Scholarships
Occidental College students Gene Shtark ’09 of Las Vegas, Nevada, and Mark Paulsen ’10 of Rolling Hills Estates have won prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships.
The award allots up to $7,500 to incoming seniors and is awarded annually to students intending to pursue careers in math, science, or engineering.
Shtark, a biochemistry and economics major, and Paulsen, a chemistry major, are among 321 Goldwater Scholarship winners from across the United States. The pair were selected from a field of 1,035 applicants nominated by faculty at their university or college. The award will help cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board.
“It felt wonderful to win,” said Shtark, whose research focuses on a protein and lipid system’s transition phase. “I've worked very hard at school and research, and such recognition has definitely served to strengthen my passion and resolve.” He plans to study biochemistry in graduate school with a goal of conducting research and teaching at the university level.
Paulsen, who plans to go to medical school, said he was “completely taken by surprise” by the award. “It didn't sink in until the next day.” His research involves the development of strategies to isolate compounds from plants and animals that can be used in the preparation of natural products.
Shtark and Paulsen are the 34th and 35th Occidental students to win a Goldwater Scholarship since 1990. This year, almost 80 percent of the scholarships went to students enrolled at large research universities. Occidental is one of just 13 liberal arts colleges nationwide to have two or more Goldwater Scholarships this year.
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation is a federally endowed agency honoring the late Arizona senator. In its 20-year history, the foundation has awarded more than 5,500 scholarships worth about $54 million.