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Juniata Junior Studying Physics, Math Receives Goldwater Scholarship

(Posted May 10, 2010)

Kenneth Goodfellow, a junior at Juniata College, will work as an intern at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in an optics research lab.

HUNTINGDON. Pa. -- Kenny Goodfellow, a junior from Duncansville, Pa. at Juniata College studying physics and mathematics, has been chosen to receive the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. Students selected for this scholarship are chosen based on academic merit from the fields of mathematics, science and engineering.

Goodfellow, the son of Christine Brown of Duncansville, and Kenneth Goodfellow, of Altoona, Pa., will apply the $7,500 scholarship to tuition for his senior year at Juniata. He is a 2007 graduate of Hollidaysburg Area High School.

Goodfellow has focused his studies and research on laser research and optics and plans to continue his interest in research in graduate school. "Physics, especially at Juniata, fascinates me in that it allows me to learn why phenomena in our world happens," he says. "Our labs are not set up as 'recipe labs' where we are given instructions step-by-step to meet a goal. Instead, we are given an objective and the materials and told to 'do it.' This way, we can learn from mistakes to make our critical thinking skills and research abilities stronger."

Goodfellow was chosen from a field of 1,111 students from hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide. This year, 278 scholarships were awarded. Of those awarded scholarships, 156 were men and 122 were women.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 in 1986. The scholarship program honoring the late Sen. Barry M. Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering.

Goodfellow started his research career at Juniata in 2008, the summer of his freshman year. He received a von Liebig grant as a research assistant to work in the lab of James White, professor of physics. He worked on a project to characterize the quality of laser light through rubidium spectroscopy.

This summer, Goodfellow will work at a 10-week internship at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., where he will work in a lab specializing in optics research. Goodfellow has presented his laser-related research at Juniata's Liberal Arts Symposium two years in a row, in 2009 and 2010. He also presented his research in 2009 at the Landmark Liberal Arts Symposium at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa.

He remains active on campus as well, where he is a member of the Society of Physics Students. He also has competed as an athlete for Juniata as a member of the cross country and track teams.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.