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Goldwater Scholarship honorees have ties to chemistry

Three University of Minnesota students named 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars

Fourth student receives an honorable mention

Contacts: Sally Lieberman, UMTC Goldwater Scholarship Representative ,, (612) 624-0399
Steve Henneberry, University News Service,, (612) 624-1690

Three University of Minnesota Twin Cities undergraduates have been named 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars. A fourth student received an honorable mention. [Three of those students have ties to the Department of Chemistry.] The prestigious Goldwater Scholarship is awarded annually to outstanding sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research-oriented careers in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. The scholarships provide up to $7,500 per year for up to two years of undergraduate study.

Each of the three Goldwater Scholars is enrolled in the University Honors Program. The three students are:

Daniel Boman, a California resident, is a junior majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in Spanish studies. He is enrolled in the College of Science and Engineering. He plans to pursue a doctorate in his major field and a career in research and development in the energy sector. Boman is committed to developing new technologies that will decrease dependence on fossil fuels, and wants to usher them all the way from design to market. He has been engaged in undergraduate research since his freshman year. In Professor Andreas Stein's chemistry laboratory, he worked on developing materials for use in solar thermal fuel production and to improve energy storage capacity in supercapacitors and lithium batteries. Currently, he is conducting research with Mechanical Engineering Professor Jane Davidson on a model of the reaction kinetics of the production of carbon monoxide and hydrogen over reduced cerium oxide, a technology that will be utilized in a new solar thermochemical reactor that Davidson's laboratory is developing. In his spare time, Boman enjoys ballroom dancing. He holds a corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship, a Gold Scholar Award and a Frank Louk Scholarship from the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Karen Leopold is a junior biochemistry and genetics major from Falcon Heights, Minn. She is enrolled in the College of Biological Sciences. Her goals include a doctorate in biochemistry and a research and teaching career as a professor in the biological sciences. She would like to direct an academic laboratory focused on investigating protein function and genetics through biochemical and evolutionary lenses. Her interests also include origin-of-life research, immunology, and virology. She is engaged in a research project on the human immune response to Group A Streptococcus under Professor Patrick Cleary of the Department of Microbiology and Professor Edward Kaplan of the Department of Pediatrics. Leopold's research has already demonstrated the superiority of a new assay for analyzing streptococcal antibodies in patient samples. Leopold is the recipient of many academic awards, including a Bentson Family Scholarship and a Stanley Dagley Memorial Scholarship, as well as awards for rock climbing and piano. She has been a tutor for the general chemistry program and works at the university's rock climbing wall as a route-setter.[Karen is the daughter of chemistry professors Doreen and Kenneth Leopold.]

Maxwell Shinn, from Chaska, Minn., is a sophomore majoring in neuroscience and mathematics. He is enrolled in both the College of Biological Sciences and the College of Science and Engineering. Drawn to "big questions" of the relationship between consciousness and neurophysiology, he aims to pursue a doctorate in computational neuroscience. In his research activities Shinn wants to look for mathematical order in human cognitive functions, study how information theory can be used to analyze large biological networks, and explore the relationship between information and evolution. He has been involved in research under Professor Philip Zelazo of the Institute for Child Development and Professor Duane Nykamp of the School of Mathematics. Currently, he is studying how artificial neural networks can be used to model ecological phenomena under the direction of Professor Clarence Lehman of the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior. Shinn holds an AXA Achievement Scholarship, awarded to ten students per year in the United States, and a University of Minnesota Presidential Scholarship. He is a composer whose works have been performed by several local ensembles, and he is the founder and lead developer of WriteType, an open source computer program that helps elementary school students experience success in writing.

The student receiving an honorable mention scholarship status is also in the University Honors Program. He is:

Matthew Hauwiller, from Maple Grove, Minn., is a junior majoring in chemical engineering and chemistry. He is enrolled in the College of Science and Engineering (CSE). He plans to pursue a doctorate in physical chemistry and will focus his research career on developing alternative energy sources, particularly solar cells, that have enormous potential to benefit society. For the past two years, he has been conducting research under the direction of Professor David Blank of the Department of Chemistry. In Blank's laboratory, Hauwiller has worked on a project aimed at removing carcinogenic chlorinated ethylenes from groundwater, and on the development of polymers for use in organic photovoltaic cells. Hauwiller represents the College of Science and Engineering on the University of Minnesota Undergraduate Advisory Board and participates in CSE's Gemini Leadership Project. He also enjoys intramural softball, volleyball, and flag football. Hauwiller has been the recipient of numerous awards at the university, including a University of Minnesota-sponsored National Merit Scholarship, a Presidential Scholarship, and a Heisig-Gleysteen Fellowship from the Department of Chemistry.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Sen. Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. This year, less than 300 scholars were selected nationwide from a field of more than 1,100 students who were nominated by their colleges and universities. Each institution many nominate up to four students.

A total of 54 University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, undergraduates have been Goldwater Scholars since the program's inception in 1986.

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities students who are interested in applying for the scholarship in the future may consult the Office for National and International Scholarships by visiting

For more information on the Goldwater Scholarship, visit