Millikin University undergraduate Hailee Peck, a junior mathematics and Spanish double major from Livermore, Calif., was named an Honorable Mention Award recipient for the 2014 Barry M. Goldwater Foundation Scholarship Competition. This prestigious and highly-competitive national competition recognizes excellence in science, mathematics, and education. Only 300 students nationwide are awarded full scholarships and approximately 30 are awarded Honorable Mention.
"It is very exciting to have a Millikin student earn this recognition from a competition involving the very best undergraduate science and mathematics students from around the country," said Dr. Travis Wilcoxen, Millikin assistant professor of biology and Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship faculty representative. "Excellence in performance learning demonstrated by Hailee and the faculty with whom she works were critical to this success."
The Barry Goldwater Scholarship Program was created to encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering and to foster excellence in those fields. The Foundation awards undergraduate scholarships to outstanding students, to be known as Barry Goldwater Scholars, in the spring of 2014 for use during the 2014–2015 academic year.
"Upon hearing the news that I had received an Honorable Mention for the Goldwater scholarship, I was extremely excited and honored to have been given national recognition for something that I love doing," said Peck. "These accomplishments have not been achieved by myself alone, and I am incredibly grateful to everyone who has helped me to get where I am in my undergraduate career. I hope to keep working hard on my research and see where the future takes me."
Four-year institutions were eligible to nominate up to four students who are in the sophomore or junior class during the 2013–2014 academic year. The Goldwater Foundation places equal value in terms of student quality and scientific merit for each Honorable Mention and full scholarship winner.
"It has been my pleasure to work with Hailee during her three years here at Millikin," said Dr. Joe Stickles, Millikin professor of mathematics. "Her recognition by the Barry Goldwater Foundation shows that others around the country are realizing that she is a rare talent. Hailee has already accomplished so much, including having published two papers in professional mathematics journals, giving numerous presentations at conferences, and completing a rigorous summer program at Cornell University last year."
The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was authorized by the United States Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. To view a list of the 2014 Honorable Mention Scholars, visit goldwater.scholarsapply.org/hm-2014.php
In addition to this recognition, Hailee will participate in the Women and Mathematics program held at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University in May 2014. The program brings together research mathematicians with undergraduate and graduate students on the campus of the Institute for Advanced Study and is designed to address issues of gender imbalance in mathematics. Activities include lectures and seminars on a focused mathematical topic, mentoring, and seminars about career opportunities and women in the sciences.
Following her experience at Princeton, Hailee will attend the Summer Mathematics Research Program at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, from June 16 – August 8. This highly selective, extremely rigorous program lasts for eight weeks and has previously invited students from such places as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and Carnegie Mellon University. Hailee will be studying the field of combinatorics and how the subject matter applies to other fields of mathematics.
Dr. Stickles added, "Not only will Hailee have the opportunity this summer to network with influential female mathematicians, she will also be doing research alongside students from Duke, Harvard, and MIT. Even with all she has accomplished so far, I know this is just the tip of the iceberg for Hailee."