The Department of Physics is very pleased to report that one of our third year Physics students, Madelyn Leembruggen, has been named a 2017 Goldwater Scholar! The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 and provides scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering. Each university can nominate only four undergraduate students per year for this prestigious award which makes this one of the premiere awards in the US conferred to undergraduate students. Madelyn was one of 240 scholars selected from 1286 students nominated for the 2017 award. The press release from the Goldwater Foundation announcing the 2017 awardees can be found here.
During the Summer of 2016 Madelyn Leembruggen was awarded a scholarship from the Women in Science and Engineering Program to pursue research in High Energy Physics Theory with faculty mentors Rohana Wijewardhana and Peter Suranyi. In collaboration with Rohana and graduate student Josh Eby, this research was incredibly productive resulting in two publications on the physics of stars composed of axion particles, newly proposed particles which are considered candidates for dark matter. During the Fall of 2016, Madelyn first presented this work at the APS National Mentoring Conference in Houston and received the first place award for best poster. She later presented this work again at the University of Nebraska Lincoln Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physical Sciences and received an award for best poster at that conference as well. Madelyn’s ultimate professional goal is to earn a PhD in Theoretical Physics to pursue research in astrophysics or cosmology.
(Announcement posted April 3, 2017)