Two at Wellesley College Are Named 2006-2007 Goldwater Scholars

For immediate release:
March 31, 2006
Arlie Corday

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Wellesley College students Merideth Frey of Monterey, Calif., and Margaret Thompson of Oriental, N.C., are among the 323 nationwide college sophomores and juniors to be awarded 2006-2007 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships. The one- and two-year scholarships will cover the cost of their tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,081 mathematics, science and engineering students nominated by the faculties of U.S. colleges and universities.

Frey, a junior majoring in physics, plans to earn a Ph.D. in physics and become a research professor in the field of quantum physics. She also is the recipient of the Charles E. Sporck Scholarship and has received National Science Foundation funding and a Massachusetts Space Grant. She has placed first, second and third in annual state competitions and 19th at the world competition for Destination Imagination, a creative problem-solving program. A National Merit Commended Scholar and an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, she earned a certificate of distinction for superior performance in the American Mathematics Contest.

“Since childhood, I have adored the fantasical elements of reality,” Frey said. “As a result, I became fascinated by quantum physics. I enjoy learning about new theories to explain the nearly unexplainable. My goal is to participate in research that has theoretical and real-world applications.”

Frey has been involved in research projects including work at the Physics Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), building an experimental set-up to observe properties of clustered quantum dots. She has presented her research at NIST and at Wellesley. She also has worked on research projects involving asteroid rotation and Saturn’s satellites and earned first-year distinction at Wellesley.

Thompson, a sophomore majoring in chemistry, plans to earn a Ph.D. in organic chemistry. She has earned distinction in organic chemistry and first year distinction at Wellesley. A National Merit Scholar and a Siemens Westinghouse Competition regional finalist, she received the Wake County 4H Horse Council Scholarship.

“I would like to become a professor of organic chemistry or biochemistry at a research university,” she said. “I’d like to focus my research efforts on improving and developing therapies for diseases such as diabetes, cancer or AIDS.”

Thompson has conducted research projects on global warming and its effect on caterpillars, which was presented at the Entomological Society of America and published in Environmental Entomology. She has worked in a synthetic organic chemistry group collaborating with a pharmacology group at Tufts New England Medical Center on a peptide receptor important to the production of insulin, research that has been accepted for presentation at the 2006 American Chemical Society meeting.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency. Its Scholarship Program was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. The scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields. In its 18-year history, the foundation has awarded 4,885 scholarships worth approximately $48 million

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal-arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries. For more information, go to



Wellesley College junior Merideth Frey and sophomore Margaret Thompson.