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5/5/2014 Three USU students recognized by Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation - The Herald Journal: Allaccess http://news.hjnews.com/allaccess/three-usu-students-recognized-by-goldwater-scholarship-and-excellence-in/article_8f87f5c6-ba05-11e3-9dc4-0019bb2963f4.html 1/4 Three USU students recognized by Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation Goldwater honorees USU's 2014 Goldwater honorees, from left to right, Austin Spence (Honorable Mention) Rachel Nydegger (Goldwater Scholar) and David Griffin (Honorable Mention). The prestigious national competition recognizes outstanding achievements in science and mathematics. (Photo courtesy of USU) Posted: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 11:45 pm Herald Journal Staff report | Utah State University undergraduate Rachel Nydegger has earned a prestigious national honor — a 2014 Goldwater Scholarship. Students David Griffin and Austin Spence received honorable mentions in the competition, which recognizes outstanding achievements in science and mathematics. The award is administered by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. With this year’s honorees, USU boasts 23 Goldwater Scholars and 11 honorable mention recipients since 1998. Each year, USU may submit up to four nominations for the award; a process coordinated by the USU Honors program. Scholarship award recipients receive up to $7,500 toward annual tuition and expenses. Thanks for visiting The Herald Journal. You're entitled to view 7 free articles every 30 days, and you currently have 4 remaining. Then, if you enjoy our site and want full access, we'll ask you to purchase an affordable subscription. Remaining 4 et Home News Sports Outdoors Opinion Features Multimedia Cache Magazine Blogs Obituaries Cars Jobs Homes Classifieds Account Contact Us Search Weather: Clear 60°

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5/5/2014 Three USU students recognized by Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation - The Herald Journal: Allaccess
http://news.hjnews.com/allaccess/three-usu-students-recognized-by-goldwater-scholarship-and-excellence-in/article_8f87f5c6-ba05-11e3-9dc4-0019bb2963f4.html 1/4
Three USU students recognized by Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation
Goldwater honorees
USU's 2014 Goldwater honorees, from left to right, Austin Spence (Honorable Mention) Rachel Nydegger (Goldwater Scholar) and David
Griffin (Honorable Mention). The prestigious national competition recognizes outstanding achievements in science and mathematics.
(Photo courtesy of USU)
Herald Journal Staff report |
Utah State University undergraduate Rachel Nydegger has earned a prestigious national honor — a 2014 Goldwater Scholarship. Students David Griffin and Austin Spence received honorable mentions in the competition, which recognizes outstanding achievements in science and mathematics.
The award is administered by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. With this year’s honorees, USU boasts 23 Goldwater Scholars and 11 honorable mention recipients since 1998.
Each year, USU may submit up to four nominations for the award; a process coordinated by the USU Honors program. Scholarship award recipients receive up to $7,500 toward annual tuition and expenses.
Thanks for visiting The Herald Journal. You're entitled to view 7 free articles every 30 days, and you currently have 4 remaining. Then, if you enjoy our site and want full
access, we'll ask you to purchase an affordable subscription.
Remaining 4
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Scholar Rachel Nydegger, physics and mathematics
For more than seven months last year, Rachel Nydegger was up and about campus each night as most of her classmates were sleeping. The physicist, who worked with faculty mentor Shane Larson, was collecting data on light pollution around USU’s Logan campus.
“It wasn’t easy getting out of bed and going outside when it was dark and 11 degrees below zero,” said the Logan native. “But it was necessary to collect our data.”
For Nydegger, light pollution interferes with a favorite activity: stargazing. But she also recognizes its broader effects.
“Light pollution means energy is being wasted by outdoor light fixtures,” she said. “It also has an unfavorable impact on crime patterns and adversely affects nocturnal wildlife.
Nydegger graduated from Logan’s Fast Forward Charter High School in 2011 and was awarded an Aggie Scholar scholarship to USU. She’s also the recipient of Utah’s New Century Scholarship and an Energy Solutions Scholarship. The undergrad is an avid volunteer for Science Unwrapped, the College of Science’s public outreach program.
Following graduation from USU, Nydegger plans to pursue a doctorate in astrophysics, conduct research and teach at the university level.
David Griffin, physics and computer science
While deciding on a college destination, Roy native David Griffin met with USU Department of Physics advisor Karalee Ransom and plans began to fall into place.
“It was clear she puts students first, and I chose USU,” Griffin said. “I can’t imagine going anywhere else.”
With physics professor David Peak, Griffin is developing a computer model that can be used to predict plant leaves’ responses to the environment.
“Biologists have observed how a single stoma or ‘pore’ on a leaf responds to changes in the environment, but it’s not well understood how these pores or ‘stomata’ work together in response to environmental changes,” he says. “With our model, we’re trying to decode this biological phenomenon.”
Following graduation from USU, Griffin, who completed home schooling in preparation for college, plans to pursue a doctorate in physics and conduct research in computational physics and complexity.
Austin Spence, biology and German
A recent photo of Austin Spence garners a lot of double takes: The undergrad is grasping a handful of writhing snakes.
“I’m investigating the effects of habitat disturbance on the physiology of the wandering garter snake,” says Spence, who conducts research with Department of Biology faculty mentor Susannah French. “This involves collecting snakes in the field, as well as habitat data, and quantifying snake hormone concentrations and immune function.”
A Salt Lake City native and 2011 graduate of Highland High School, Spence received a Research Internship in Science and Engineering (RISE) scholarship from DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), which enabled him to complete a research internship in Germany on an endangered species of hamster.
Spence received the USU Department of Biology's John R. Simmons Scholarship and was named German Student of the Year by USU's College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Following graduation from USU, he plans to pursue a doctorate in physiological ecology and conduct research on the effects of urbanization on the environment.
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