The prestigious scholarship is given to undergraduate students who intend to pursue careers in math, science or engineering.

UofL’s Goldwater scholars are chemical engineering student Ezra Clark of Louisville and physics major Shannon MacKenzie of Dayton, Ky. Both students are juniors and will receive up to $7,500 toward their education expenses.

A third student, Akash Gupta, a Louisville sophomore majoring in biology and Spanish, received a Goldwater Honorable Mention.

Clark has been working closely with UofL faculty at the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research on using nanotechnology for alternative energy applications. He is a graduate of Ballard High School and plans to pursue a research career in renewable energy technologies.

MacKenzie’s academic focus has been on projects related to astrophysics, including research at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University to measure production rates of rare subatomic particles. She is also working with researchers to create a catalog of “Brightest Cluster Galaxies” and plans to continue work on that project this summer in Zurich, Switzerland.

Gupta received a Goldwater Honorable Mention for his work on the potential health benefits of the jamun fruit, also known as the Indian blackberry.

Congress created the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program in 1986 to honor Sen. Barry M. Goldwater for his 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including his 30 years in the U.S. Senate. The program works to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers by awarding scholarships to undergraduate college students who show exceptional promise in those fields.