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04-04-2011

More Goldwater Scholars for Clarkson University

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/goldwater2011.jpg .]

Three Clarkson University honors students have been named Goldwater Scholars and another has received an honorable mention from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

Goldwater Scholars Devon J. Jedamski, Guangtao Zhang, Jeevaka I. Somaratna and honorable mention winner Kenneth G. Yancey.Sophomore Devon J. Jedamski, an aeronautical engineering and mechanical engineering double major from Holley, N.Y.; junior Jeevaka I. Somaratna, a civil engineering and mechanical engineering double major from  Kandy, Sri Lanka; and sophomore Guangtao (Taotao) Zhang, who is pursuing a dual degree in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics and statistics, from  Acton, Mass., have all been awarded scholarships.

Junior Kenneth G. Yancey, a chemistry and biomolecular sciences double major from Lowville, N.Y., received an honorable mention.

Including this year’s scholars, 25 Clarkson University students have received this highly coveted award since the scholarships were established in 1986. This is the twelfth consecutive year that Honors Program students have received Goldwaters and Clarkson’s best ever achievement in the competition.

There are five institutions with four outright winners: Princeton University, University of Minnesota Twin-Cities, University of Washington, Arizona State University, and University of Alabama; and eight institutions like Clarkson with three winners and one honorable mention: Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Connecticut, Utah State, Calvin College and Hendrix College.

A graduate of Holley High School, Jedamski plans to pursue his doctorate specializing in the development of innovative wind energy technologies. During the summer of 2010, he worked under the direction of Prof. Ken Visser on the testing of a diffuser augmented wind turbine at Clarkson University's wind turbine test site. He is also conducting research on rotor optimization for shrouded wind turbines in order to augment power production. A member of the Honors Program and a presidential scholar, Jedamski is an instructor for the introductory MATLAB course, chief engineer of Clarkson's radio station and president of Sigma Gamma Tau. He is also an Elks Most Valuable Student and an Eagle Scout.

A graduate of Trinity College in Sri Lanka, Somaratna intends to pursue his doctoral studies in materials engineering with an emphasis on the development of better materials for structural engineering applications. Based on research conducted over the past two summers under the direction of Prof. Narayanan Neithalath in the area of cement free binder concrete, he has co-authored a journal article on microwave curing of alkali activated fly ash mortars. He plans to continue this research work during a summer internship at Arizona State University. A member of the Honors Program and a presidential scholar, Somaratna is in the Clarkson racquetball club. 

A graduate of Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Zhang intends to pursue a doctorate in mechanical engineering, concentrating on experimental study of secondary organic aerosol formation and control. Her current research with Prof. Philip Hopke focuses on the study of particle formation in indoor environments. Last year, she joined a research program at Harvard University where she investigated the hygroscopicity and volatility of chamber-generated secondary organic material particles. A member of the Honors Program and a presidential scholar, Zhang is a teaching assistant for differential equations, a tutor for first-year engineering classes, and currently on a co-op at GE Transportation. She holds leadership positions in various campus organizations such as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Math Club.

A graduate of Lowville Academy and Central School, Yancey is graduating a year early to pursue a master of science degree in chemistry and M.D. /Ph.D in tissue engineering. Under the direction of Prof. Sergiy Minko, he is developing a thermally sensitive polymer brush for selective protein adhesion and delivery of growth factors for use in the creation of artificial tissue grafts. A member of the Honor’s Program and a presidential scholar, Yancey has received the Raymond R. Andrews Achievement Award and Gamma Sigma Epsilon faculty awards. He is active in Phi-Delta Epsilon, Phi-Kappa-Phi, Circle K, and Tri-Beta and volunteers for Canton-Potsdam Hospital and Hospice of St-Lawrence Valley.

Only 52 of this year’s 275 scholarships were awarded to engineering majors. The scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,095 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.

Clarkson’s Honors Program is an intensive four-year curriculum for exceptionally talented students. The University admits only 30 new students to the Honors Program each year.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established in 1986. The scholarship program honoring Senator Barry M. Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Three Clarkson University honors students have been named Goldwater Scholars and another has received an honorable mention from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. Left to right: Goldwater Scholars Devon J. Jedamski, Guangtao Zhang, Jeevaka I. Somaratna and honorable mention winner Kenneth G. Yancey.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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