Los Fresnos News

Los Fresnos Native Among Three Johns Hopkins Students to Receive Prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

Three undergraduate researchers at The Johns Hopkins University are among the 271 students recently awarded Goldwater Scholarships for the 2013-2014 academic year. The one- and two-year funding the three Johns Hopkins students receive will help further their investigations in molecular dynamics, the biomedical science of disease, and developing a computational tool to help surgeons treat epilepsy.

The merit-based scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. The Goldwater Foundation, which grants the scholarships, is a federally endowed agency established in 1986. The program honoring the late Sen. Barry M. Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields. The foundation has awarded 6,550 scholarships worth approximately $40 million since the first awards were given out in 1989.

The three Johns Hopkins Goldwater Scholars are: Stephen Filippone from Los Fresnos, TX, Peter Klugin of Albuquerque, N.M. and Sandya Subramanian of Grand Rapids, Mich.

Stephen Filippone is a junior majoring in materials science and engineering in the Whiting School of Engineering. Filippone’s Goldwater funding will support his research project performing molecular dynamics simulations on polymer (amorphous) systems to investigate void growth morphology in the lab of Michael Falk, an associate professor of materials science and engineering. Polymers have applications in every technology from medicine to electronics. By better understanding the physics of their deformation we can control their properties and make better devices. Filippone’s past research projects include summers at Vanderbilt and Northwestern universities, studying ways to increase the flexural strength of cement to reduce the amount of reinforcement needed in construction, and studying the performance of graphene capacitors over large-area graphene. He hopes to pursue a doctorate in materials science and engineering.

The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,107 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. One hundred seventy-six of the Scholars are men, 95 are women, and most intend to obtain a PhD.