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Two from Hunter Win Nation’s Top Science Scholarship

Two from Hunter Win Nation’s Top Science Scholarship

Celine Joiris (left) and Joseph Cammarata

Two Hunter Macaulay Honors College students – Joseph Cammarata and Celine Joiris – have won 2011-12 Goldwater Scholarships, the most prestigious award in the U.S. for undergraduates studying the sciences.

This is the third year in a row that Hunter has won a Goldwater, and the first time Hunter has won two — a great achievement since each college or university is limited to only four nominees a year. CUNY as a whole had four winners -- one from CCNY and one from College of Staten Island in addition to the two from Hunter -- and all were Macaulay students.  It's the first time all four CUNY Goldwater winners were Macaulay students.

Cammarata, a junior majoring in biology, said he was “elated” and “incredibly grateful” to everyone who has helped him. He plans to pursue a PhD in biology and is already off to a running start. Last summer, he was accepted into the 10-week Undergraduate Research Program at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and in the fall he joined Hunter’s Howard Hughes Medical Institute scholars program.

Joiris is a junior majoring in psychology. Earlier this year she won a Harcourt Fellowship for undergraduate science research and last fall, she took up her current position with Dr. Michael Long at the NYU Smilow Neuroscience Center where she looks at the neural mechanisms of precise timing required for intricate motor skills, using timing in zebra finch song as a model. Last summer, she took a research position at Johns Hopkins University working under Dr. Marshall Shuler and investigating the neural systems by which rewards are associated with prior stimuli in the primary visual cortex (V1). She plans to pursue a PhD in neuroscience.

The Goldwater Scholarships were established by Congress in 1986 in honor of Barry Goldwater, the longtime senator from Arizona and 1964 Republican presidential nominee. The goal is to strengthen the nation’s complement of scientists, engineers and mathematicians. The awards run up to $7,500 a year based on financial need, and only about 300 are awarded each year, making it one of the most competitive scholarships in the nation. Recent Hunter winners include Hendia Raisa Edmund (’11) and Yelena Leitman (’10), who is now at Harvard Medical School.

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