RICHARDSON, Texas (April 5, 2005) — Following on the heels of the first-ever Truman Scholarship win by a student from The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), another UTD student has been named a recipient of a prestigious award. Junior Kassandra McLean was selected for a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, which is given annually on the basis of academic merit to students planning careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering.
Congress established the Goldwater Scholarship in 1986 to honor U.S. Senator and 1964 Republican presidential nominee Barry M. Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including three decades in the Senate. The award provides sophomore- and junior-level students with financial support for undergraduate studies.
McLean, a 21-year-old from Houston who is double-majoring in computer science and physics, was one of 320 Goldwater Scholars selected nationwide from a field of 1,091 applicants. The one- and two-year scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board, to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
“We at UTD have always been proud of our students who pursue careers in science and technology, and so it comes as no surprise to me that one of our students would be selected for this esteemed award,” said Dr. Edward J. Harpham, a professor of government and political economy in UTD’s School of Social Sciences who serves as the university’s faculty representative for the Goldwater Scholarship. “Kassie is a dedicated and determined young woman who has precisely mapped out an exciting career in the sciences. I have no doubt that she will excel in her future endeavors.”
McLean is a 2002 graduate of St. Agnes Academy in Houston. She entered UTD that fall as part of The Eugene McDermott Scholars Program — an innovative and highly selective offering that provides four years of support, along with travel and internship opportunities, to students who demonstrate high intellectual achievement and strong leadership skills and ethics.
McLean has been involved in numerous activities on and outside the UTD campus. She is a member of the university’s Collegium V Honors program, and she was a writer for UTD’s student newspaper. In the fall of 2004, McLean studied in Italy at the Osservatiorio Astronomico di Brera. McLean has worked for the past three summers in the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and has authored or co-authored numerous publications in her field of study.
Apart from her studies at UTD, McLean currently is helping to develop a design for a new astronomy exhibit for The Science Place in Dallas. After graduating from UTD, she plans to attend graduate school and hopes to have a career as an astrophysicist with LANL.
The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. In its 19-year history, 4,562 scholarships worth approximately $45 million have been awarded.
Just last week, 20-year-old Richardson native Sophie Rutenbar was awarded a Truman Scholarship, which is given annually to a select group of college students interested in pursuing a career in public service. She was the first student in UTD’s 36-year history to receive that honor.
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 14,000 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s web site at www.utdallas.edu.