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April 11, 2001

Two Named Goldwater Scholars

A pair of Calvin College students are winners of this year's prestigious Goldwater Scholarships. David Koop (left) of Grand Rapids and Mason Klein (right) of Seattle, Washington, represent Calvin on the list of 302 scholarship winners from across the country. Each scholarship covers eligible expenses for tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually.

In 2001 the only state schools with Goldwater Scholars are Calvin, Hope and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Both Hope and the University of Michigan had three honorees each. Calvin now has had seven Goldwater Scholars in the 13 years they've been awarded, including three in 1991, one each in 1993 and 1994 and the two this year.

This year's 302 honorees were selected from a field of almost 1,200 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. There are 157 male Scholars and 145 female Scholars. There are 25 mathematics majors, 198 science majors, 26 engineering majors, six computer science majors and 47 who have dual majors.

Koop is a native of Grand Rapids and graduate of Grand Rapids Christian High School. He's a member of Woodlawn Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. Klein hails from Seattle, Washington, where he prepped at Shoreline Christian School. He's a member of Seattle Reformed Presbyterian Church.

Both juniors have double majors at Calvin with Koop studying both mathematics and computer science and Klein studying physics and polticial science. Both students also plan to earn advanced degrees. Koop wants first to pursue a Ph.D. in either math or computer science and then a career as a researcher, hunting, he says, the "many opportunities to contribute ideas to these fields."

Klein too plans to go to graduate school and then do either research or teaching, while perhaps also getting involved in science policy work. In March of 2001 he had a chance to test that interest when he was one of 70 students nationwide selected to participate in poster presentations for politicians in Washington, D.C. Klein, like Koop, likes the fact that science remains a field open to ideas and contributions, adding "the more we, man in general and me personally, learn about science, the more we establish the fact that we don't really know much." He adds with a smile: "For some reason I find this very comforting."

With their Goldwater Scholarships, Klein and Koop have set themselves up for future success in the sciences. Past Goldwater Scholars have gone on to earn Rhodes Scholarships, Marshall Awards and Churchill, Fulbright, Hughes, National Science Foundation and numerous other distinguished fellowships.

The scholarships are awarded by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. That Foundation was authorized by the United States Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. The purpose of the Foundation, as stated in the enabling legislation, is "to alleviate a critical current and future shortage of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers."

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Contact Phil de Haan
616-957-6475 (v)
616-957-7069 (f)