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Trio becomes Creighton’s latest set of Goldwater Scholars

Three Creighton University College of Arts and Sciences and Honors Program students have earned one of the nation’s most prestigious awards for students in mathematics, science and technology as scholars in the 2016 Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program.

Jordan Roth, Samantha Stoupa and Alex Tarter bring Creighton’s Goldwater Scholars total to 19 in the last 12 years, making the University one of the nation’s premier producers of Goldwater Scholars. Creighton continues to be a leader among U.S. Catholic and private institutions for the number of Goldwater Scholars coming from its halls.

Roth, a junior physics and mathematics major from Omaha, attained a Goldwater Honorable Mention in 2015. He plans to pursue a doctorate in high-energy physics and to teach at the university level. Roth has written a software interface application connected to a portion of the hardware on the European Center for Nuclear Research’s Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle collider and has also worked at the STAR detector at the Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. His faculty mentor is Michael Cherney, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Physics.

Stoupa is a sophomore biochemistry major from Omaha and plans to earn a Ph.D. in translational science with a goal to teach at the university level and research more effective approaches to today’s most pernicious diseases. Stoupa is involved in both biochemistry and biomedical sciences research. Her multiple projects are focused on investigating allosteric ribozymes as synthetic genetic switches, targeting bacterial riboswitches in antibiotic development and investigating carotid plaques and the components of their extracellular matrices. Stoupa is the vice president of the Honors Program Student Board, a member of Creighton's Chamber Choir and she is a 2016 National Institutes of Health INBRE Scholar. Stoupa was also the 2015 Top General Chemistry Student at Creighton. Her faculty mentors are biochemistry professor Juliane Strauss-Soukup, Ph.D, and biomedical sciences professor Devendra Agrawal, Ph.D.

Tarter is a junior physics and mathematics major from Belleville, Illinois, who conducts research in ultracold atomic physics under the direction of faculty mentor Assistant Professor Jonathan Wrubel, Ph.D. His research includes work in fluid dynamics and Bose-Einstein condensation, the latter of which saw him design and build a magneto-optical trap. He is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa national honor society and the recipient of a  2015 Ferlic Summer Research Grant. Tarter intends to work for a doctorate in applied mathematics and to teach and conduct research at the university level.

This year, the Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation awarded 252 scholarships from 1,150 nominees selected by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. Selections are made on the basis of academic merit. The one- and two-year scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to $7,500 per year.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established in 1986. The Scholarship Program honoring Sen. 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.

Since its first award in 1989, the Foundation has bestowed 7,990 scholarships worth approximately $50 million.

Creighton University is a Jesuit, Catholic university bridging health, law, business and the arts and sciences for a more just world.