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Westminster College Students Nominated for Barry Goldwater Scholarships

Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Two Westminster College students were recently nominated for the Barry Goldwater Scholarship for their research in natural sciences.

Samuel Mellon, a junior physics major; and Lauren Stoczynski, a junior biology major; were nominated for the award by Dr. Craig Caylor, associate professor of physics, department chair, and Westminster faculty representative for the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program. Caylor was named as a Goldwater Scholar in 1994.

In order to be nominated the student must be a current sophomore or junior, have at least a 3.0 GPA and be in the top 25 percent of their class, have U.S. citizenship/be a permanent resident, and have an interest in a career in mathematics, natural sciences, or engineering. Additionally, they must provide the faculty representative with letters of recommendation, a written essay discussing a significant issue or problem in the student's field of study, and additional application essays. The student's course grades are also a factor in the nomination process.

"Sam and Lauren both have excellent academic records at Westminster, as evidenced by their grades and by the supportive recommendation letters they received from Westminster faculty members," Caylor said. "Moreover, the essays that were part of their application packages indicated both commitment to a career in science and depth of thought about their chosen research interests." 

Mellon is a son of David and Martha Mellon and a graduate of Bradford Area High School. His research involves the observation of planets outside of our solar system. He has conducted research with Dr. Thomas Oberst in Westminster's Physics Department.

Stoczynski is a daughter of David and Donna Stoczynski of Erie and a graduate of Harbor Creek High School. Her research involves her interest in preserving coral reefs.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program has provided federally endowed scholarships since 1989 and provides approximately 300 scholarships per year. Each award is worth up to $7,500 a year for one to two years.

According to the program's website "the purpose of the Foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields."

Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Increased student demand and post-graduate opportunities within the biological sciences have made biology one of the largest departments on campus. Westminster offers a broad range of majors including biology and molecular biology, and two interdisciplinary majors, environmental science and neuroscience. The College also offers three minors, biology, molecular biology, and environmental studies. 

The Department of Physics provides its majors with the disciplinary knowledge and problem-solving and analytical skills necessary to succeed in the workplace or as graduate students in physics, engineering, or other technically oriented fields.  The department offers two closely-related tracks within the major:  physics and physics with a concentration in 3-2 engineering.

Contact Caylor at (724) 946-7207 or email for additional information.

Samuel Mellon
Lauren Stoczynski
Dr. Craig Caylor, associate professor of physics, department chair, and Westminster faculty representative for the Barry Goldwater Scholarship.