March 5, 2004

Contact: Barbara Schowen, KU Honors Program, (785) 864-4225.

4 KU juniors compete for national Goldwater scholarships

LAWRENCE -- Four University of Kansas juniors are competing for national Barry M. Goldwater scholarships to encourage excellence in science, engineering and mathematics.

The scholarships provide up to $7,500 for tuition, fees, books, and room and board. Winners who will graduate in 2005 receive one year of support; those graduating in 2006 receive two years of support. Winners will be announced in early April.

The nominees are Alan M. Dibos, Lenexa; Stephen N. Floor, Lawrence; Andrew J. Giessel, Larned; and Dyan E. Vogel, Overland Park. All plan to graduate in May 2005.

Thirty-three KU students have been named Goldwater scholars since the first scholarships were awarded in 1989. Congress established the program in 1986 to pay tribute to retired U.S. Sen. Goldwater of Arizona and to ensure a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers.

The board of trustees of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, Washington, D.C., plan to award up to 300 Goldwater scholarships for the 2004-05 academic year. Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of more than 1,000 students nominated by faculty members from colleges and universities nationwide.

Only sophomores or juniors who plan to graduate in 2005 or 2006 and who were judged to have outstanding academic records, significant research experience, and high potential for a career in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering were eligible for nomination by their universities. Nominees submitted applications that included a 600-word essay, several shorter essays and faculty recommendations.

Brief sketches of each KU nominee's undergraduate research and scholarship activities follow.

- Alan M. Dibos, Lenexa junior in physics, hopes to expand humankind's knowledge of the physics at the nanometer scale. Dibos plans a career in teaching and research of the physics of nanometer-scale systems for applications in modern technology. Dibos is working with Judy Wu, KU professor of physics, to research boron-based nanowires. Last March, Dibos gave a presentation on his nanowire research at the American Physical Society in Austin, Texas. At KU, Dibos has received one of 10 Chancellors Club scholarships, awarded to incoming National Merit finalists, and a Prosser scholarship, given to the most outstanding sophomore majoring in physics. He is a Shawnee Mission South High School graduate. He is the son of Heidi Dibos of Lenexa.

- Stephen N. Floor, Lawrence junior in physics and in computer science, plans a career as a research professor in computational cosmology. At KU, Floor works with Adrian Melott, KU physics professor, on computational physics projects simulating universes and performing analysis of synthetic observations. Floor has presented his contributions in posters at the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, the Oklahoma Supercomputing Symposium in Norman and the Multiwavelength Cosmology Conference in Mykonos, Greece. He also has given talks at the Theoretical Astrophysics Centre in Copenhagen and the Tartu observatory in Estonia. Floor is a Coca-Cola merit scholarship recipient and a member of honor societies for engineers and for physicists. He works as a disc jockey for KJHK, the student radio station, and as a research assistant for the KU cosmology group. Floor attended Free State High School in Lawrence. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Erik Floor of Lawrence.

- Andrew J. Giessel, Larned junior in biochemistry and computer science, plans a career in teaching and research focusing on the biophysics of neurological processes. He would like to integrate biochemical experimentation with theoretical and computational modeling. Last spring one of Giessel's professors, Mark Richter in molecular biosciences, arranged for Giessel to meet Nobel Prize-winning chemist Paul Boyer. Giessel says that although he found parts of Boyer's lecture at KU difficult to understand, he was inspired by the opportunity to talk about his simulation experiments with Boyer. At KU, Giessel twice has received a Kansas-Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network scholarship and is a Summerfield scholar, a scholarship awarded to the top 50 Kansas male freshmen. He is a Larned High School graduate. He is the son of Tom and Sheryl Giessel of Larned.

- Dyan E. Vogel, Overland Park junior in cell biology, plans a career as a molecular biologist in a medical school focusing on cell cycle events. She is particularly interested in studying a gene whose protein product is involved in transforming normal cells into cancer cells. At KU, Vogel works with Victoria Corbin, associate professor of molecular biosciences, on research projects on the transcriptional control of a gene important for the embryonic muscle development in Drosophila fruit flies and on using real-time video microscopy to visualize embryonic muscle fusion. Vogel has participated in four poster presentations, including the National Drosophila Conference in Chicago last spring. Vogel is a National Merit scholar, and during summer 2003 she was a student researcher in the Summer Medical and Research Training (SMART) program at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She is a Shawnee Mission South High School graduate. She is the daughter of Paul and Martha Vogel of Overland Park.


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