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Westminster College Students Nominated for Goldwater Scholarships

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Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Three Westminster College students were each recently nominated for the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, a federally endowed program that has awarded scholarships since 1989. Students are awarded up to $7,500 a year for one to two years.

In order to qualify students must be a current sophomore or junior, must have at a least a 3.0 grade point average and be in the top 25 percent of their class, and have an interest in a career in mathematics, natural science, or engineering. They must also submit letters of recommendation, write an essay discussing a significant issue or problem in the student's field of study that is of particular interest to them, and submit additional application essays.

Lance Jubic wrote an essay that proposed a research initiative studying the use of alga to remove barium strontium from water contaminated by fracking fluids. Jubic has been working with Dr. Helen Boylan, associate professor of chemistry, on the chemical analysis of fracking fluid, and is one of two Westminster students holding public meetings who helped initiate the Lawrence and Mercer Alliance for Aquatic Resources Monitoring (ALLARM) program. The public monthly meetings for the program usually includes updates on the water quality monitoring program, how to preserve steam quality in the region, and the potential impacts shale gas drilling may have on our waters.

Jubic also conducted research in the folding of RNA-iron (II) complexes, during the summer of 2013 at Georgia Tech. Jubic conducted the research with Georgia Tech professors Dr. Nicholas Hud and Dr. Loren Williams.

Jubic, a junior biochemistry and molecular biology major, is a son of Gregory and Mary Jubic of Leechburg and a graduate of Kiski Area High School.

Student Sam Mellon's essay proposes a research initiative studying the connection between star formation processes and the conditions for life on exoplanets (planets that orbit other stars).  Mellon works with Dr. Thomas Oberst, Westminster assistant professor of physics, on research involving the detection of exoplanets. 

Mellon also conducted research during the summer of 2013 at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory with Dr. Laura Pérez.

Mellon received an honorable mention citation from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship committee in 2013. He was among honorable mention students from Auburn, Brown, Cornell, Purdue, Stanford and Yale.

Mellon, a junior physics major, is a son of David and Martha Mellon and a graduate of Bradford Area High School.

Nathaniel Schramm's essay proposes continuing his study of the extranuclear activities of proteins that are part of a human mRNA nuclear transport complex. He has been working on this research with Dr. Karen Resendes, assistant professor of biology.

Schramm, a junior molecular biology major, is a son of David and Christine Schramm of Cheswick and a graduate of Central Catholic High School.

The students were nominated 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.

"The Goldwater Scholarship is a prestigious national award for STEM students," Caylor said. "Westminster's nominees are part of an elite group of roughly 1200 young scholars, many of whom will be future leaders in fundamental scientific research."

From among the candidates recommended by an independent review committee, the Goldwater Board of Trustees will name up to 300 Barry Goldwater Scholars. Winners will be announced in March.

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