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CLAS Undergraduates Receive Prestigious Goldwater and Truman Scholarships

The Goldwater Foundation recently selected three UF students to receive a Goldwater Scholarship, including CLAS students Donald Burnette and Jeffrey Wong.

Burnette, a sophomore majoring in physics and mathematics, plans to earn a PhD in physics and to research at a top institution specializing in the study of the properties of materials within condensed matter physics. He is involved in several outreach programs with K-12 students and has won science fellowships from the Center for Condensed Matter. Wong, a junior, has a double major in microbiology and cell science and biochemistry. A Beckman Scholar and a Lombardi Scholar, Wong plans to earn a MD/PhD in molecular biology and to conduct research focused on developing breakthrough platform therapeutics for cancer and infectious disease. Lauren Culver, a junior majoring in material science and engineering, is the other UF winner.

Nationally, there were 323 Goldwater scholarships awarded for the 2006-2007 academic year given to sophomores and juniors from the US. The foundation selected scholars on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,081 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by their colleges and universities. The scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation has selected two CLAS juniors as winners of its national scholarship for students preparing for careers in leadership in public service. Ashley Bittner, a history and political science double major, and Bruce Haupt, a political science major, have each received $30,000 for graduate school.

Bittner is president of the Honors Ambassadors and has been active in the First Year Florida course, the Florida Alternative Breaks Program and the Center for Leadership and Service. She has interned with US Senator Bill Nelson in Washington, DC and has been recognized as a Reitz Scholar, a Wentworth Scholar, and a McLaughlin Scholar. She intends to enter a joint degree program of a master’s in public affairs and a juris doctor.

Haupt is a Campus Diplomat, a member of Chi Phi and Students In Free Enterprise. Before transferring to UF, he was president of Phi Theta Kappa international honor society, founder of Civic Rock and a student ambassador at Brevard Community College. Florida Leader magazine named him one of the top 20 student leaders of Florida in 2003. Haupt will pursue a master’s in public policy and a PhD in higher education administration.

The Truman Foundation requires students to be nominated by their institution, and Bittner and Haupt are the only two students selected from Florida. In 2006, 75 students from 63 colleges and universities were selected as Truman Scholars, from a pool of 598 candidates nominated by 311 colleges and universities. Bittner and Haupt will join other scholars in May for a week-long leadership development program at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, and receive their awards at the Truman Library on May 21. Visit for a list of 2006 Scholars.

Recent Truman Scholarship winners from UF, who are all CLAS graduates, include Max Miller (2004), Teresa Porter (2003) and Michael Gale (2002).

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