Keith Mulder, a Hope College junior from Portage, has received a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship for the 2007-08 academic year.
The scholarships were awarded by the Board of Trustees of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation to 317 undergraduate sophomores and juniors. The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,110 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.
Mulder is one of three students honored by the Goldwater Foundation this year and one of four to receive national recognition in the sciences in recent weeks. Another two Hope juniors received Honorable Mention recognition through the Goldwater program: Marlie Johnson, a biology major from Petoskey, who also received Honorable Mention last year; and Martha Precup, a mathematics and economics major from Boyne City. In addition, senior James Lajiness, a chemistry major from Beech Grove, Ind., had received Honorable Mention in the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship program.
"We at Hope are proud that our students are receiving significant national recognition," said Dr. Moses Lee, who is dean for the natural and applied sciences and a professor of chemistry at Hope. "All four of these honors celebrate our students' hard work and talent while also affirming the high quality of our program."
Mulder is a biochemistry major who has been conducting research at Hope with Lee. He hopes to obtain an M.D. and Ph.D. in biochemistry and then conduct biochemical research with a focus on developing new cancer therapies, discovering how gene regulation can be accomplished in humans.
When he was making his college choice, Hope appealed to him as a small, liberal arts college with a strong reputation in the sciences. He has been pleased with his experience as a student.
"I knew that I wanted to do something involving chemistry, and Hope seemed to be the place that would provide me with the best undergraduate research experience," he said. "My research with Dr. Lee has been invaluable; it has prepared me with the knowledge and experience necessary to pursue a career in research. I have also benefited from the guidance and expertise of many professors in the science department who have helped to positively shape my experience at Hope."
Mulder is a 2004 graduate of Portage Northern High School, and the son of Clifford and Brenda Mulder of Portage. His activities on campus have also included the Pew Scholars program; a campus Bible study; the college's Chem Club; and intramurals.
Of the 317 students selected for Goldwater Scholarships this year, 174 are men and 143 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their degree objective. A total of 28 are mathematics majors, 223 are science and related majors, 54 are majoring in engineering and 12 are computer science 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.
In its 19-year history, the foundation has awarded 5,202 scholarships worth approximately $51 million. The Trustees plan to award about 300 scholarships for the 2008-09 academic year.