WELLESLEY, Mass. - Two students at Wellesley College, junior
Yolanda Y. Huang of San Jose, Calif., and Vermont native
Julie A. Wright, a sophomore, have been named Barry M. Goldwater
Scholars for the 2002-2003 academic year.
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education
Foundation awarded 309 scholarships to undergraduate sophomores
and juniors from the 50 states and Puerto Rico. The Goldwater
Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from
a field of 1,155 mathematics, science and engineering students
who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities
nationwide. One hundred seventy-nine of the Scholars are
men, 130 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a
Ph.D. as their degree objective. The one- and two-year scholarships
will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and
board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
Huang, the daughter of Tony and Cristine Huang of San Jose,
Calif., is majoring in neuroscience with a physics minor.
She is included on the National Dean's List, received First-Year
Academic Distinction at Wellesley and has been named a 2002
Beckman Scholar. She has served as a research assistant
in the lab of Professor Joanne Berger-Sweeney of Wellesley's
Department of Biological Sciences.
"The main objective of the experiment is to determine
whether sex differences exist during neurogenesis, the birth
of cholinergic neurons in the mouse basal forebrain," Huang
said. "Our lab believes that understanding the neurogenesis
of the cholinergic basal forebrain will shed light on gender
differences in disorders involving degeneration of this
system, such as Alzheimer's disease and Down Syndrome."
Huang offered thanks to others for the accomplishment.
"Besides my research professor, I want to give a special
thanks to Laura Floerke-Nashner, a 2001 graduate who is
currently still working in the lab who had helped me tremendously
during my research project," she said. "Without her patient
teaching and guidance, I would not be able to receive this
award. During the final application polishing process, I
had a great deal amount of assistance from Professor Wendy
Huang has been a math department and an academic peer
tutor through Wellesley's Pforzheimer Learning and Teaching
Center. A graduate of Taipei First Girls' Senior High School,
Taipei, Taiwan, where she earned the 1999 Academic Achievement
Scholarship Award-Four Year College Division, she studied
human physiology and general psychology during the summer
of 2000 at the University of California, Berkeley. She also
has been an assistant at Taipei's Veterans General Hospital,
Wright, the daughter of Laurie Wright of Post Mills, Vt.,
and David Wright of Thetford, Vt., was nominated for the
award by Wellesley Professor Mary Allen, based on Wright's
work in her research lab through Wellesley's National Science
Foundation-Research Experience for Undergraduate (NSF-REU)
Summer Research Program.
"It was a very productive summer, one that I enjoyed so
much I continued to do research during this school year,"
Wright said. "The award was given based on an essay about
the research on cyanobacteria. I plan to pay for my tuition
with the award, whether I remain at Wellesley next semester
or go to the Semester for Environmental Science in Woods
Wright, majoring in biology, won the First-Year Chemistry
Award and earned First-Year Academic Distinction. She graduated
with honors in June 2000 from Thetford Academy earning several
scholarships including the Frank and Olive Gilman Foundation
Scholarship for science and the 1999 Bausch and Lomb science
In August 1998, she completed with honors the Woods Hole
Science At Sea program. She has worked with the Lake Fairlee
Association in Thetford, Vt., to reduce the Eurasian milfoil
pest and has served as an aquatic ecology intern in the
Biology Department at Dartmouth College. She also took part
in the University of Vermont Governor's Institute of Vermont
in Science and Technology.
She is founder and president of the Marine Biology Club,
an Academic Peer Tutor and member of the Dance Collective
Goldwater Scholars have very impressive academic qualifications
that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate
fellowship programs. Recent Goldwater Scholars have been
awarded 44 Rhodes Scholarships (6 of the thirty-two awarded
in the United States in 2002), 39 Marshall Awards, and numerous
other distinguished fellowships.
The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate
award of its type in the fields of mathematics, the natural
sciences and engineering.
Founded in 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in
liberal arts and the education of women for 125 years. The
College's 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate