Russell Lee Ayscue '15, a chemistry major and Patrick Henry Scholar, has been named a 2014 Barry Goldwater Scholar, one of only six Virginians to receive the award.
The Goldwater Scholarship is awarded to students who have displayed outstanding potential and intend to pursue research careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. This year the Goldwater Foundation has awarded 283 scholarships nationally. The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,166 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. One hundred seventy-two of the Scholars are men, 111 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their degree objective. Twenty-two Scholars are mathematics majors, 191 are science and related majors, 63 are majoring in engineering, and 7 are computer science majors. Many of the Scholars have dual majors in a variety of mathematics, science, engineering, and computer disciplines.
According to Lee, "I was very surprised and excited to receive such a prestigious honor. Luckily, I was able to share that excitement with my parents and grandparents, who had visited me over the weekend as I was being induced into the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society. Receiving the Goldwater has strengthened and amplified my interest, drive, and ambitions in scientific research. Even though I am the recipient, the honor also belongs to all those who made this extraordinary opportunity possible. The incredible amount of support which I received from Office of Fellowship Advising during the preparation and review of my application was the key to my success. The education and opportunities at Hampden-Sydney are unmatched because of the devotion of its faculty and staff to the students. I am truly blessed and very thankful for the full support of my family, friends, and the Hampden-Sydney community'"
"In the upcoming year, I will continue my studies in chemistry and physics. Throughout my senior year I will perform a departmental honors research project in chemistry focusing on the synthesis of catalytic compounds which have potential application in a reaction that recycles carbon dioxide emission. Also I will compete on the varsity swim team for my fourth season. After H-SC, I will pursue a chemistry or materials science graduate program in the study of catalysis, combustion chemistry, and/or hazardous materials management. My main areas of interests are the development of compounds for hazardous materials control and the advancement of military defense technologies. My interest in chemistry has been significantly influenced by excellent science teachers throughout my academic career and my father's profession as the hazardous materials captain for the Lynchburg City Fire Department in Lynchburg, Virginia."
The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established on November 14, 1986. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.