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WPI Student Named 2005 Goldwater Scholar

University Marks 5th Straight Year with a WPI Goldwater Scholar

Contact: WPI Media Relations, +1-508-831-5706

WORCESTER, Mass. -- March 29, 2005 -- Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) student Molly L. Conforte is among a select group of 320 undergraduate sophomores and juniors from around the United States to be named Goldwater Scholars for the 2005-2006 academic year by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. A biomedical engineering major in the WPI class of 2006 from Lovell, Maine, Conforte received the award in recognition of her exceptional academic merit and commitment to a career in engineering. She is the only 2005 Goldwater Scholar from the state of Maine. Her award marks the fifth year in a row that a WPI student has won a Goldwater Scholarship.

The 2005 Goldwater Scholars were selected from a field of 1,091 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by faculty members of colleges and universities nationwide. Of the scholars, 165 are men, 155 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their degree objective. Each recipient will receive a one- or two-year Goldwater Scholarship, which covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

Conforte's career goal is to earn a Ph.D. in biomechanics, and subsequently work with the development of heart valves through tissue engineering. To prepare herself, she has done undergraduate research on how heart valves respond to their local mechanical environment. This spring, she is completing an interdisciplinary research project with the Victoria Department of Human Services at the WPI Project Center in Melbourne, Australia. She is a member of the Biomedical Engineering Society, Tau Beta Pi, the Society of Women Engineers, Women's Industry Network, and the WPI Student Alumni Society.

Conforte joins current undergraduate student body members Matthew J. Black '05, Helen A. Hanson '06, David J. LeRay '05, and Ann C. Skulas '05 as the most recent Goldwater Scholars from WPI.

More information about the Goldwater Scholarship is available from the WPI Awards Web site.

About the Goldwater Foundation

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on November 14, 1986. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry M. Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.

The Foundation, in its 17-year history, has awarded 4,562 scholarships worth approximately forty-five million dollars. The Trustees plan to award approximately 300 scholarships for the 2006-2007 academic year.