Joseph Christensen, a junior at Creighton University, has been named a Goldwater scholar. The Audubon, Iowa, native is majoring in chemistry was selected as Goldwater Scholar for the 2013-2014 academic year. The Goldwater Scholarship provides up to $7,500 annually for undergraduate study. He is the 13th Goldwater scholar at Creighton in the past nine years.
Christensen joins 270 other sophomores and juniors throughout the country selected by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation on the basis of academic achievements to receive one- or two-year scholarships in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. This year, 1,107 students were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.
Christensen plans to earn a doctoral degree in organic chemistry and teach at the university level, where he hopes to conduct bioorganic synthesis research. At Creighton, he has worked on research about developing chemical sensors and developing synthesis strategies for Pargamicin A, a natural product with antimicrobial activities. He has presented his research at the Nebraska NIG-INBRE meeting and the American Chemical Society Midwest Regional Meeting. At Creighton, Christensen has been involved in the Chemistry Club, the Center for Service and Justice Spring Break Service Trips and the ILAC water quality program.
Both of his faculty mentors, David Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical sciences and James Fletcher, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry, say Christensenís strong work ethic is evident in his work in their labs.
The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on November 14, 1986. The scholarship program honors Senator Barry M. Goldwater and was designed to 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.