Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) juniors Andrew Black and Andrew K. Capulli have been named 2010 Goldwater Scholars by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The Goldwater Scholarship program fosters and encourages outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering, and is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields. Since 2002, 16 WPI students have been named Goldwater Scholars or honorable mention recipients.
Established in 1986 to honor U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, the foundation has awarded 6,079 scholarships worth approximately $58 million dollars. This year's 278 Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,111 undergraduates studying mathematics, science, and engineering who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. The one-and two-year scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
"We are excited by the recognition of the quality and relevance of WPI's undergraduate programs, demonstrated by the number of our students who have been selected for this important award," said WPI Provost John Orr. "The accomplishments in energy by Andrew Black and in regenerative medicine by Andrew Capulli exemplify the innovative and important work being done at WPI."
Black, a native of Bridgewater, Mass., is a chemical engineering major and chemistry minor who plans to pursue a PhD and conduct research on fuel cells, chemical thermodynamics, and catalysis and to teach in academia. He has conducted research at WPI's Fuel Cell Center and Biological Interaction Forces Lab and at Millipore Corp. He is currently studying biotic integrity at the WPI Project Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Black has been a peer tutor in math, chemistry and chemical engineering, and is active in the Karate Club and the WPI chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineering. A founder and former president of the WPI Chess Club, Black has also received numerous academic awards at WPI.
Capulli, a bioengineering major from Hampstead, N.H., plans to pursue a PhD and perform research on regenerative implants, prostheses, and the biomechanics of tissues in either an academic or industrial setting. For two years, he has conducted research at the WPI Biomechanics Research Laboratory; he presented the results of his work at a biomedical engineering conference last fall. Capulli is currently at the WPI London Project Center researching heat and power plants with government planning authorities. At WPI, Capulli is vice president and treasurer of the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity, treasurer of the ice hockey team, and captain of the lacrosse team. He is also a member of several honor societies.
Of the 2010 scholars, 156 are men and 122 are women; virtually all intend to obtain a PhD. Seventeen scholars are mathematics majors, 199 are science and related majors, 53 are engineering majors, and nine are computer science majors (many have dual majors in a variety of mathematics, science, engineering, and computer disciplines).
Goldwater scholars have impressive academic qualifications that have garnered the attention of prestigious postgraduate fellowship programs. Recent Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 73 Rhodes Scholarships, 105 Marshall Awards, 90 Churchill Scholarships (nine of the 14 awarded in the United States in 2010), and numerous other distinguished fellowships.