Andrew Huisman, a Hope College junior from Zeeland, has received a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship for the 2003-04 academic year.
It is the sixth time in seven years that at least one Hope student has received one of the scholarships.
The scholarships were awarded by the Board of Trustees of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation to 300 undergraduate sophomores and juniors. The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of merit from a field of 1,093 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.
The scholarships are for one or two years, depending on the recipient's year in school, and cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
Huisman is a chemistry major and physics minor. He hopes to go on to earn a doctorate in physical chemistry and then teach chemistry and perform independent research at a college or university.
He has been conducting research for the past two years with Dr. Graham Peaslee, associate professor of chemistry and geological/environmental sciences, working on a new technique for detecting trace metals in the watershed.
"He's done a marvelous job," Peaslee said. "The results of his work will certainly be publishable but might even be patentable, they're so good. That's very unusual for an undergraduate."
Huisman noted that he has appreciated both the opportunity to investigate an original question and the interdisciplinary character of the work, which involves multiple areas of science. "I really enjoy coming up with something innovative that combines some disciplines in ways that people haven't used before," he said.
Last year, Huisman received a Beckman Scholar Award to support his research at Hope from the summer of 2002 through the forthcoming summer. He is one of only six Beckman Scholars nationwide chosen to speak during the Fifth Annual Beckman Scholars Symposium that will be held in California in July; some 54 scholars will be attending.
He is active with the college's chemistry club, and has been volunteering with the science camp program for elementary-age children. He is on the Hope College Mellon Grant Committee for Integrating Technology into the Classroom.
His activities have also included the college orchestra, Symphonette and college chorus, serving as an orientation assistant as a sophomore, and serving as a moraler for the college's Nykerk Cup competition as both a freshman and sophomore. He spent the fall of 2002 studying at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, living in King's College where his activities included crew (rowing) and directing the King's College Chorus for the Cultural Intercollegiate Cup Competition.
Huisman is the son of Thomas and Bonnie Huisman of Zeeland. He is a 2000 graduate of Zeeland High School.
Two previous Hope Goldwater Scholarship recipients, who received their awards in 2001, are currently seniors: Lee Kiessel of Suttons Bay, a physics and mathematics major who also conducts research with Peaslee; and Jody Murray of Grant, a biology major.
Of the students selected for awards this year, 161 are men and 139 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their degree objective. A total of 31 are mathematics majors, 210 are science majors, 45 are majoring in engineering and 12 are computer science-related majors. Many have dual majors in a variety of mathematics, science, engineering and computer disciplines.
The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on Nov. 14, 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.
The foundation in its 15-year history has awarded 3,962 scholarships worth approximately $39 million. The trustees plan to award about 300 scholarships for the 2004- 05 academic year.
The other schools in Michigan with students chosen for 2003-04 scholarships are Michigan State University in East Lansing, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo and West Shore Community College in Scottville.