Home Official News Releases Drake student wins Goldwater Scholarship

Drake student wins Goldwater Scholarship

News Photo
Rachel Barkley

CONTACT: Tory Olson, 515-271-1834, tory.olson@drake.edu

Rachel Barkley, a junior at Drake University, recently received a
Goldwater Foundation Scholarship Award in recognition of her
outstanding academic work and ambitious career aspirations.

Barkley of Blair, Neb., is one of 278 outstanding students selected
by the Goldwater Foundation this year. She was among 1,111 mathematics,
science and engineering students nominated by the faculties of colleges
and universities nationwide.

A chemistry and biochemistry, cell & molecular biology double major, Barkley will receive $7,500 for the 2010-11 academic year.

“I was surprised but extremely excited to receive recognition for
the hard work I put into the application, as well as all of the work I
have put into my education,” said Barkley, who plans to attend graduate
school to focus on biomedical science. She said she plans to become an
industrial research scientist.

In addition, Ethan Secor, a sophomore double majoring in chemistry and physics from Stillwater, Minn., received honorable mention.

“I was thrilled with my selection as an Honorable Mention,” Secor
said. “It reflects well on the outstanding faculty here at Drake, and
it validates some of the choices I have made. Drake has been invaluable
to my academic development.”


News Photo
Ethan Secor

Secor, who hopes to pursue a career in solar technology, plans on reapplying for the scholarship next year.

Applicants must write an essay and complete a questionnaire. They are
also required to submit three letters of recommendation and their high
school and college transcripts.

Associate Professor of Chemistry Gholam Mirafzal serves as the Drake
faculty representative for the Goldwater Scholarship. He works with
student candidates on their award applications.

“Ethan and Rachel are well-rounded individuals with outstanding records
of accomplishments with their classes, research, extracurricular
activities and community services. They are well-deserving of this
recognition,” Mirafzal said.

Scholarship intended to encourage future researchers

In 1986, the United States Congress established the program and
scholarship in order to honor former Senator and 1964 presidential
candidate Barry Goldwater. The foundation’s goal is to encourage
college students to pursue careers as scientists, mathematicians and

Universities are allowed to nominate four undergraduate students per
year. The application process is highly competitive, and the award is
widely considered the most prestigious of its kind in the nation.

More information about the program, the award and its recipients can be found online.