Ben Peterson has received one of 275 Goldwater Scholarships awarded this year in the nation.
GENESEO, N.Y. - A SUNY Geneseo student has received a national Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for his achievement and potential in his field of biochemistry.
Ben Peterson, a junior from Nekoosa, Wisc., received one of 275 scholarships that the Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation awarded to undergraduate sophomores and juniors from the United States for the 2011-12 academic year. The students were selected on academic merit from a field of 1,095 mathematics, science and engineering students nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. The award covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
Peterson is the 15th Geneseo student to receive a Goldwater Scholarship since 1992. Another Geneseo student, Evan Losh, a physics/music double major from Fairport, N.Y., received an honorable mention from the foundation in this year's competition.
Peterson started examining the production of chemicals in plants as an undergraduate researcher at Geneseo under the tutelage of George Briggs, associate professor and chair of the Department of Biology.
"Ben is quite deserving of this award," said Briggs. "He is very resourceful and works well independently but he is very inquisitive and willing to ask questions."
Peterson has expanded his interest to the effects of stimuli on protein expression in plants and started working with Eric Helms, assistant professor chemistry, on more in-depth chemical analysis of plant content.
"I like research - trying to find out something new, trying to contribute to the body of science as a whole," says Peterson. "Geneseo offers many research opportunities to students early in their undergraduate career and that has been good for me."
Among other activities, Peterson is a member of Geneseo cross country team. He has secured an internship this summer at the University at Buffalo where he will work with a researcher who is exploring how proteins control the electrical activity of neurons.
The Goldwater Scholarship was established in 1986 in honor of the former U.S. Senator from Arizona. The goal is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields.