Mitchell Myjak, a University of Portland junior, has received a prestigious $7,500 scholarship from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.
Myjak, of Kennewick, Wash., was one of five students attending Oregon universities and colleges to become a Goldwater Scholar for the 2001-02 academic year. A 4.0 student who scored 1560 out of 1600 in the high school SAT placement test, Myjak is majoring in electrical engineering with a computer track and mathematics as a minor.
The Goldwater Foundation is a 13-year-old federally endowed agency. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator 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.
Myjak's father is an engineer as is his brother and sister-in-law. His brother, Russell, works at Intel in Hillsboro and his father at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington. He praised the support he has received from his parents, Raymond and Mary Myjak, and the University of Portland.
"My parents supported me very much throughout school," he said. "That support has carried over at UP, where I get the personal attention of each professor and know all of the electrical engineering students."
Myjak plans to seek a master's degree and doctorate in computer engineering and pursue a career in computer engineering at a private microprocessor company.
"I'd like to spend a few years gaining practical experience, while learning the technical issues involved with microprocessor design," Myjak said. "Eventually, I would like to enter into research and development, and create software tools that automate the design process, by arranging the layout of a silicon chip, for example."
Myjak, whose interest in engineering started early with a childhood love of model trains, was a co-valedictorian of Kamiakin High School in Kennewick. He has earned several scholarships and awards including the "Most Cost Effective Design" award from the University of Portland's Freshman Engineering Design Competition. He also plays organ at his home parish, St. Joseph's Church in Kennewick.
The Goldwater scholarships are awarded annually to sophomores and juniors nationwide. Other recipients for 2001-02 include students from Stanford University, Yale University, Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and California Institute of Technology.
The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,164 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. A total 157 of the Scholars are men, 145 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their degree objective.
Goldwater Scholars have impressive academic qualifications that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs. Recent Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 39 Rhodes Scholarships (eight of the 32 awarded in the U.S. in 2000 and six in both 1998 and 1999), 32 Marshall Awards, 11 Churchill, 10 Fulbright, 30 Hughes, 93 National Science Foundation, and numerous other distinguished fellowships.