For the first time in history, a UW-Whitewater student has been awarded a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship.
Marie Nider, a chemistry major from Monroe, was one of 282 students chosen from a nationwide pool of 1,100 to receive a Goldwater Scholarship for the 2012-13 year.
"This scholarship will open doors to graduate schools and future fellowships for Marie," said Catherine Chan, associate professor of biological sciences and director of the Undergraduate Research Program at UW-Whitewater.
Nider, a junior, said she is excited about the opportunities the scholarship will offer for her and her research.
For the past three years, Nider has been researching the effects on plants of household chemicals found in treated wastewater. This experience will prepare her for a career in chemistry as she pursues her passion of protecting the environment.
"Marie's success illustrates the possibilities for students going UW-Whitewater, and showcases the achievements of the chemistry department," Chan said. "It also shows the number of internal and external scholarship opportunities available to our students."
Nider has also received several chemistry department scholarships and has scored in the top 10 percent of the American Chemical Society standard exams. She will be the first student in the Chemistry Honors program to graduate next year.
The Goldwater Scholarship is awarded annually to outstanding sophomores and juniors nationwide who intend to pursue careers in science, mathematics and engineering.
Competition for the scholarship is intense. Universities are allowed to nominate only four undergraduates per year to receive the final scholarship, making it the most prestigious award in the U.S. bestowed upon students studying the sciences.
Six students from Wisconsin won the scholarship this year.
The Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was created in 1986 in honor of former U.S. Sen. Barry M. Goldwater. The scholarship awards up to $7,500 per year for up to two years of undergraduate study.