Two undergraduate students named 2018 Goldwater Scholars

Author: Erin Blasko

University of Notre Dame students Katherine Gallagher and Matthew Schoenbauer have been named Goldwater Scholars for the 2018-2019 academic year, joining 209 other undergraduate sophomores and juniors in the U.S.

Named for former U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, the Goldwater Scholarship encourages outstanding undergraduate students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. It is the pre-eminent scholarship of its type in those fields.

Recent Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 91 Rhodes Scholarships, 131 Marshall Awards, 150 Churchill Scholarships, 100 Hertz Fellowships and numerous other distinguished awards, including National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

The scholarship, which is awarded annually by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, covers the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to $7,500 per year for one or two years.

“Katie and Matt are two of the most gifted and dedicated students I have ever had the opportunity to work with. And work they have!” said Francis Connolly, professor emeritus of mathematics and mentor to both Gallagher and Schoenbauer. “I am astonished at what they have achieved in mathematics while at Notre Dame. Their future careers glitter as brightly as their present Goldwater Scholarships.”

Gallagher, a junior honors math and honors music major in the College of Arts and Letters, is a Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) Sorin Scholar from Naperville, Illinois. She is currently studying abroad at the University of Oxford in England.

An honorable mention for the Goldwater Scholarship last year, Gallagher hopes to pursue a doctorate in mathematics, conduct research in algebraic topology and teach at the university level after graduation.

“I am thrilled and honored to be a recipient of the Goldwater Scholarship,” Gallagher said. “The application process helped me to articulate why I want to pursue a research career in mathematics, and the award itself has motivated me to continue my pursuit.”

Gallagher thanked her “Notre Dame professors who have helped me to develop as a mathematician, especially professor Connolly, who has stimulated my interest in mathematics since freshman year.”

Schoenbauer, an honors math major in the College of Science, is a sophomore Glynn Family Honors Scholar from New Prague, Minnesota, outside Minneapolis.

Like Gallagher, Schoenbauer hopes to pursue a doctorate in mathematics, conduct research in algebraic and differential topology and teach at the university level after graduation.

“I am incredibly excited about winning the Goldwater Scholarship,” Schoenbauer said, crediting “the work of some incredible faculty members” — especially Connolly, “who has been an incredibly effective mentor for almost my entire time at Notre Dame.”

He also thanked Andrew Putman, professor of mathematics at Notre Dame; Carmen Rovi, professor of mathematics at Indiana University Bloomington; and Eileen Hunt Botting, professor of political science, faculty director of the Merit Scholarship Program and a fellow with the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at Notre Dame, “who has invested greatly in my non-mathematical development and guided me through the Goldwater application process.”

Notre Dame juniors Braeden Benedict, of Rancho Palos Verdes, California, and Evan Nichols, of Fairlawn, Ohio, also were nominated for the Goldwater Scholarship this year. Both received honorable mention.

CUSE, which promotes the intellectual development of Notre Dame undergraduates through research, creative endeavors and the pursuit of fellowships, helped guide the students through the application process.

For more information on this or other fellowship opportunities, visit cuse.nd.edu/fellowships/.

Contact: Erin Blasko, assistant director of media relations, 574-631-4127, eblasko@nd.edu

Originally published by Erin Blasko at news.nd.edu on April 13, 2018.