KSU Physics Undergrad, Samuel Fahrenholtz, Received Honorable Mention Honor for Goldwater Scholarship

MANHATTAN -- Three Kansas State University students are recipients of 2008 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, while a fourth student has been recognized as an honorable mention for the award.

The winners are Michelle Higgins, Manhattan; William Carlson, Overland Park; and Scott McCall, Parker, Colo. Samuel Fahrenholtz, Tribune, received honorable mention honors.

The three K-State students are among 321 students from across the nation to receive the Goldwater Scholarship this year, which are awarded for academic merit. The scholarships are worth up to $7,500 annually for a student's final one or two years of undergraduate studies. This year's recipients were selected from a field of 1,035 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.

"Congratulations to these superb K-State students, who continue this university's rich tradition of national scholarship excellence," said Jon Wefald, K-State president. "The Goldwater Scholarship places a high value on undergraduate research experience, and at K-State, we have long made opportunities for undergraduate research a priority. The efforts of our dedicated and supportive faculty also are helping our students achieve at this highest level."

With three Goldwater recipients this year, K-State students have now won 63 Goldwater Scholarships. K-State remains first in the nation among state universities in Goldwater Scholarship winners. Among all universities, K-State is tied for third place with Duke. Princeton has 68 and Harvard has 67 Goldwater scholars.

All four K-State students plan careers in research.

Higgins, a senior in nutritional sciences and biochemistry, plans to pursue a doctorate in pharmacology. Her career goal is to conduct translational research in drug discovery and development at the university level.

Carlson, a junior who is majoring in mathematics, wants to do research in math analysis and teach at a university after earning his Ph.D.

McCall is a sophomore in biochemistry and biology. After earning his medical degree and doctorate in pharmacology, he would like to conduct novel pharmaceutical research, especially using synthetic medicine chemistry for clinical integration in clinical medicine.

Fahrenholtz, a senior in physics, plans to pursue a doctorate and conduct research in the area of medical physics, teaching at the graduate level and performing clinical work pertinent to his research.

Higgins is working in the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine's pharmacology program, looking for proof of concept by performing immunohistochemistry on prostate tumor sections from treated mice. At K-State, she also was a student lab assistant in 2005 for the department of human nutrition, assisting in a study researching the effects of diet and exercise on cancerous tumor development. She has worked as a research technician in the K-State Nutrient Metabolism Lab, assisting in a glycemic index study investigating glucose absorption and insulin sensitivity. In 2007, she was a National Exchange Student at Oregon State University, where she gained biochemistry research credit by maintaining prostate cancer cell cultures and learning DNA extraction and Western blotting. She also had a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship at the University of Kansas Medical Center, where she tested pharmacologic interventions for prostate cancer. She is a member of the K-State women's rowing team, College of Human Ecology honors program, Alpha Chi Sigma professional chemistry fraternity and Phi Kappa Phi honor society. Her others honors include a 2007 Cancer Research Award; Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society's Outstanding Junior Award in 2007; semester academic honors; Big 12 Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll for multiple semesters; 2007 Phi Kappa Phi Scholarship; K-State department of biochemistry scholarship, 2006-present; Kansas State University Foundation Scholarship, 2004-2008; and a K-State Women's Rowing Athletic Scholarship, 2004-2008. A 2004 graduate of Manhattan High School, she is the daughter of Mary Higgins, Manhattan, and the late Randy Higgins.

Carlson is currently conducting research related to the analysis of particular partial differential equations under the supervision of Ivan Blank, visiting professor of mathematics. A research paper he wrote was published in Quantum Information and Computation. Carlson is a member of several honor societies including Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Mu Epsilon national mathematics society and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. He was awarded a K-State Presidential Scholarship, a Stromberg scholarship, a Foster scholarship, a Friends of Mathematics scholarship, an IBM Watson Scholarship and an I-Center Undergraduate Research Award. Carlson also participated in a summer 2006 undergraduate research experience at the State University of New York at Potsdam. His research was focused on graph theory and he co-authored the paper "Universal Mixing of Quantum Walks on Graphs" that was published in Quantum Information and Computation. Carlson is a member of several honor societies including Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Mu Epsilon national mathematics society and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. He has also been a member of the Chess Club, the Physics Club, the Math Club and a founding member of both the Go Club and the KSU Airsoft Team. A 2005 graduate of Shawnee Mission South High School, he is the son of Ron and Diane Carlson, Overland Park.

McCall has received the K-State Legacy Scholarship and the Gamma Sigma Delta First Year Achievement Award. Since fall 2006 he has worked in the organometallic lab of Stefan Kraft, assistant professor of chemistry. McCall is currently researching the development and synthesis of novel ligands designed to use high oxidation state palladium as a catalyst for carbon-hydrogen bond activation, with the ultimate aim of converting natural gas into combustible methanol as an alternative fuel source. He is also beginning work on elucidating the mechanisms of corneal cross-linking as part of surgical healing after LASIK surgery. McCall will pursue that topic this summer with a fellowship at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. He is a member of the K-State National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association rodeo team. In addition, he represents K-State as a Colorado ambassador. He was a National Forensics League Academic All-American in high school, and recently the American Quarter Horse Youth Association reserve national high point calf-roper, and three-time Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse Youth Association champion calf-roper. A 2006 graduate of Cherry Creek High School, he is the son of Dr. Marc and Lori McCall, Parker, Colo.

Fahrenholtz has participated in undergraduate research with the research group of Itzhak Ben-Itzhak, K-State professor of physics. They are studying the physics of laser-ion and molecule-ion collisions. He is involved in the imaging of the team’s experimental measurements and is currently analyzing proton-water collisions. Fahrenholtz has received a Kansas State University Foundation Scholarship, a Linschied Scholarship, a Dragsdorf Physics Scholarship and a College of Arts and Sciences Scholarship. He also has been active in K-State Concert Band and Brass Ensemble. A member of Farmhouse fraternity and a 2005 graduate of Goddard High School, he is the son of Dr. Randy and Janice Fahrenholtz, Tribune.

Courtesy of K-State Media Relations