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Drake student awarded prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

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Ethan Secor

Ethan Secor, a junior at Drake University, has been selected to receive a Goldwater Foundation Scholarship Award in recognition of his outstanding academic work and ambitious career aspirations.

Secor, who has a double major in chemistry and physics, is one of 275 students selected by the Goldwater Foundation to receive the award, which comes with a research stipend of up to $7,500.

This is the third consecutive year in which a Drake student has won a Goldwater scholarship. Secor, of Stillwater, Minn., was named a runner-up last year.

“This year, I had a clear goal and lots of support and encouragement from faculty members and fellow students,” Secor said. “This scholarship reflects the strengths of the University’s faculty and academic programs. Drake emphasizes individual attention and research participation, and this focus has defined my experience here.”

Recipients of the award receive a research stipend of up to $7,500. Secor plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career teaching and conducting research into solar energy technology.

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’s holds substantial undergraduate research experience,” Mirafzal said. “He is a well-rounded individual with an outstanding record of accomplishments in his classes, extracurricular activities and community service. He is well-deserving of this recognition.”

Scholarship intended to encourage future researchers

In 1986, the U.S. 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 engineers.

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 than 1,000 students nationwide were nominated this year.

The selection process requires applicants to write an essay and complete a questionnaire. They also must submit three letters of recommendation and their high school and college transcripts.

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