Students receive prestigious Goldwater scholarships

Originally published in the WSU News Archive.

Contact: Evan Epstein, Communications Coordinator, WSU College of Engineering and Architecture, 509-335-4823,

PULLMAN – Two students in the College of Engineering and Architecture at Washington State University recently received Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships for the next academic year.

The Scholarship is widely considered the most prestigious award in the U.S. conferred upon undergraduates studying the sciences. It is awarded to about 300 college sophomores and juniors nationwide in the amount of $7,500 per academic year for their senior year, or junior and senior years.

Svetlana Lockwood, a junior majoring in computer science and Whitney Ann Patterson, a junior majoring in materials science engineering learned they were two of six students from the state of Washington to receive the award this week.

Lockwood got a taste of what her field can offer when she participated in the National Science Foundation Undergraduate Biology and Mathematics (UBM) program in the summer of 2007, a program designed to enhance undergraduate education and training at the intersection of the biological and mathematical sciences and to better prepare undergraduate biology or mathematics students to pursue graduate study and careers in fields that integrate the mathematical and biological sciences.

Lockwood examined the concept of automated living environments with voice-user interfaces. As the U.S. population ages, ideas such as this are becoming increasingly poignant in helping people maintain an independent lifestyle at home as opposed to assisted living facilities. Lockwood is the only person in the U.S. currently working on a project of this nature. In addition to her research, Lockwood is active in the Bio Math Club and works as a tutor in the College of Engineering and Architecture Tutoring Lab.

Patterson is the treasurer of the Material Advantage (MA) club and last year volunteered her time as the College of Engineering and Architecture Coordinating Committee representative for MA. She enjoys participating in community outreach activities with the group, such as making educational kits for middle school students and teaching nanoscience to children at the Palouse Discovery Science Center.

During the 2006-2007 school year, Patterson worked with Professor Kip Findley to create an educational Web site about steel for the Ferrous Metallurgy Education Today initiative. She currently works with Professor M. Grant Norton to study the characteristics of gold nanoparticles applied to the surface of silica nanosprings to continue developments in alternative energy technology. Patterson hopes to spend some time in industry to gain experience before attending graduate school with a focus on renewable energy.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986. Its goal is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields.