WPI Student Lynn Worobey Named Goldwater Scholar

The 10th WPI student to receive the prestigious award since 2002
Media Contact
April 25, 2007

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WORCESTER, Mass.Lynn Worobey, a junior at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) majoring in biomedical engineering, has been named a 2007-08 Goldwater Scholar by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. This is the seventh straight year that at least one WPI student has won the prestigious scholarship. WPI junior Charles "Chuck" Gammal III received an honorable mention.

Worobey joins senior Sanjayan "Sunny" Manivannan as a Goldwater Scholar. In all, 10 WPI undergraduates have been named Goldwater Scholars since 2002. The one-year undergraduate scholarship covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, room, and board up to a maximum of $7,500.

Worobey, of Westerly, R.I., received one of 317 scholarships awarded this year to U.S. sophomores and juniors by the Goldwater Foundation. After graduation from WPI, she plans to pursue a career in biomechanics, developing prosthetics and other devices to aid those with disabilities.

During her years at WPI, Worobey has conducted research in biomedical engineering on campus and as part of a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates award at the University of Rochester in New York. She is currently working with Australia's National Science Agency in Melbourne to develop a framework for adapting hands-on science education programs for students with special needs.

"Being chosen as a Goldwater Scholar is a wonderful recognition of Lynn's consistent excellent performance in academics, athletics, and community involvement," says Kristen Billiar, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at WPI. "I'm proud that she has chosen me as an advisor for her senior capstone design project next year, and I look forward to working with her and her teammates."

Worobey is captain of WPI’s women's varsity soccer team and has been named to the New England Women and Men's Athletic Conference's Academic All-Conference Team and the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District Second Team. She is president of WPI's Biomedical Engineering Society and a member of Phi Sigma Sigma sorority, Women's Industry Networking Association, and several honor societies, including Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society.

Gammal, from Westboro, Mass., is a junior double major in electrical and computer engineering and mechanical engineering who plans a career in bioinstrumentation research. He has worked several summers at Teradyne Inc. of North Reading, Mass., and conducted research at WPI on the transformation of undergraduate engineering education, and at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, Mass., on precision medical instruments.

He is president of the Student Government Association and the sole student representative to several university committees. Gammal is a teaching assistant in mathematics, an orientation leader, and a member of Phi Kappa Theta fraternity. He has received numerous WPI awards for academic achievement, including the Class of 1879 Prize for outstanding projects in the humanities and arts.

"In my many interactions with Charles over the last few years, including advising his award-winning capstone design project, observing his work in student government, and even playing pick-up basketball games with him, he has thoroughly impressed me with his independence, intelligence, and perseverance," Billiar says. "Being selected for a Goldwater Scholar Honorable Mention is fitting recognition of his efforts."

Nationwide, the 2007-08 Goldwater Scholars – 174 men and 143 women -- were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,110 mathematics, science, and engineering students nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities. Virtually all intend to obtain a doctorate.

Of the 317 scholars, 28 are mathematics majors, 223 are science and related majors, 54 are majoring in engineering, and 12 are computer science majors. Many of the scholars have dual majors in a variety of mathematics, science, engineering, and computer disciplines.

About the Goldwater Scholarship

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Program, established in 1986 to honor U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, is 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. In its 19-year history, the foundation has awarded 5,202 scholarships worth approximately $51 million. Recent Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 69 Rhodes Scholarships, 86 Marshall Awards, and numerous other distinguished fellowships.