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Ohio University student earns nationally competitive Goldwater Scholarship

ATHENS, Ohio (April 14, 2006) -- Ohio University student Jon Harvey has been selected as a 2006 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar. Harvey, a senior majoring in meteorology and geology was among 323 scholars chosen from a field of 1,081 mathematics, science and engineering students nationwide. He will receive $7,500 to assist with academic costs for next year.

Jon Harvey photo by Rick FaticaHarvey has conducted research in astrophysics and now forecasts the weather at the Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis. In August, he received the Hollings Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), which provides generous funding for this and next year as well as a paid summer internship.

"I knew my Goldwater competition would be the best of every school that was applying," Harvey says, recalling the award as a pleasant shock.

The award came as no surprise to Geography Chair Ron Isaac. "Harvey's self-motivated, he's a hard worker, and he shows tremendous initiative." Isaac is Harvey's academic adviser and his professor for meteorology. Above all, Isaac emphasizes Harvey's comprehensive approach to natural sciences. "Jon tends to put things together," he says. "He wants to look at the world as a single, natural system, which it is."

Harvey plans to pursue graduate studies in atmospheric and earth sciences, and his professional ideal will involve interdisciplinary work bridging atmospheric and geological sciences.

"This scholarship will definitely increase the range of graduate schools I can get into," he says, adding that finding the right graduate program will open doors professionally.

"I think Jon is going to make a really fundamental contribution to the field - whatever field he picks," Isaac says. "He's a big-picture thinker."

Karen Eichstadt, the Ohio University faculty representative for the Goldwater Scholarship, along with a pre-selection committee of science and engineering faculty members, worked with Harvey and the university's three other student nominees this year to prepare stellar applications. In addition to Isaac and Eichstadt, Harvey recognizes Markus Boettcher, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, and Brian McNamara, professor of physics and astronomy, as instrumental in his success.

Established in 1986 by Congress, the endowed program honors Senator Barry M. Goldwater, 56 years a soldier and statesman, 30 of which were served in the U.S. Senate. The Goldwater Foundation seeks students demonstrating a professional commitment to mathematics or the sciences, potential for significant future contributions to these fields, and intellectual curiosity and intensity.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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