ACI student is recipient of prestigious Goldwater Scholarship
2007. 03. 26.
CALDWELL Albertson College of Idaho student Derek Erstad has received the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the premier undergraduate award for mathematics, natural sciences and engineering students.
Erstad, a sophomore at CofI who is double majoring in biology and chemistry, said he was thrilled by the award.
"I was ecstatic, I wasn't expecting it," he said. "It's one of those things where you shoot really high and don't expect anything in return."
There are 317 students nationwide who received a Goldwater Scholarship, including four from Idaho. More than 1,100 students were nominated. Nominations must come from a student's college or university. CofI Professor Mark Lotspeich nominated Erstad for the award. CofI faculty members Lynda Danielson, Art Ayers, and Scott Truksa wrote recommendations for him.
"I have a lot of gratitude for the faculty here," Erstad said. "I feel so lucky to be surrounded by people who are always looking for ways to help students succeed."
The Goldwater scholarship is awarded to sophomores and juniors and provides $7,500 per year to be used on education-related expenses.
Scholarship awards are made by the Goldwater Foundation, a federally endowed agency established in 1986. The scholarship program honors Sen. Barry M. Goldwater and was designed to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, science and engineering.
In addition to winning the Goldwater Scholarship, Erstad will intern at the Mayo Clinic this summer studying pediatric brain tumors.
After graduating from ACI, Erstad hopes to enter a M.D./PhD program focusing on biochemistry. His goal is to be a medical researcher.