Hartford, Conn., April 6, 2011 – Adam Katcher ’12 and Lorenzo Sewanan ’12 have been named Barry M. Goldwater Scholars, while Brian Castelluccio ’12 received an honorable mention for the national scholarship award, which recognizes excellence in academics, particularly in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.
The students were nominated for the scholarships before submitting essays, along with faculty recommendations, to be evaluated by an independent review committee along with academic performance, and according to the Foundation, a “demonstrated potential for and commitment to a career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering.” The committee then recommended the most outstanding nominees from each state to the Foundation Board of Trustees, who chose the scholarship winners.
Katcher, one of six Massachusetts residents to receive the award, will spend his summer conducting research at a quantum optics lab at Oxford University in England. Sewanan, one of 24 New York residents to receive the honor, says he is encouraged to proceed with his goal of becoming a physician-scientist. Both credit their experiences at Trinity for their academic maturation.
“Thanks to [Professor] Alison Draper, the Interdisciplinary Science Program (ISP) has in many ways shaped my experience at Trinity,” Katcher said. “ISP allowed me to begin doing research during my first year at Trinity, when I joined Professor [David] Branning’s lab.”
Branning is Katcher’s physics advisor and research mentor.
“Working with Professor Branning has given me immensely valuable experience in physics research,” he said, adding that his “encouragement and guidance have been incredibly important.”
Sewanan, who spent last summer conducting research in the lab of Dr. Nadeen Chahine in the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research at the North Shore Long Island Jewish University Hospital, credits Draper, Branning, Professor Kent Dunlap, Professor Taikang Ning, as well as Kevin Huang, a fellow Goldwater nominee, for developing his engineering and science skills.
Sewanan says these influences “helped me to learn a lot about science and mature as a scientist.”
Katcher is a physics and mathematics double major, planning to pursue a Ph.D. in physics and conduct research in quantum optics and teach at the university level. Sewanan is an engineering and physics double major, planning to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and perform and teach basic and clinical science in bio-mechanics and regenerative medicine. Castellucio is a neuroscience major, planning to pursue a Ph.D. in neuropsychology and conduct functional neuroimaging research in psychiatric disorders and brain injury and work in diagnostic neuropsychology.
“Being able to begin research as a first year student in ISP was invaluable in my development as a student of neuroscience,” said Castelluccio, who will continue his thesis research work at Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center at Hartford Hospital. “Along the way, Draper, Dan Lloyd, and the scientists at Olin have been trusted advisers and mentors. Each of them has encouraged my development in neuroscience and coached me through the hurdles of being a young researcher.”
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who served the United States for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate.
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.