University of Portland
Contact: John Furey

University student wins prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, studying neuroscience

Claire Clelland, a University of Portland senior, has received a prestigious $7,500 scholarship from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

Clelland, of Gold Hill, Ore., was one of six Oregon students to become a Goldwater Scholar for the 2004-05 academic year. Currently majoring in biology and philosophy, she plans to pursue a career in neuroscience research. Her major area of interest is studying stem cells and exercise as they relate to Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related conditions.

“It’s going to be a significant problem for my generation,” Clelland said of Alzheimer’s. “It’s definitely an area people need to focus on.”

“Her study of biology and philosophy have provided her with a deep understanding of not only the science needed to address the disease, but also the compassion to understand the impacts on people’s lives,” says James Male, the Edwin and Sharon Sweo Chair in Engineering at the University of Portland. “It was an excellent application and we were honored to nominate her as a representative from the University of Portland.”

Clelland, the daughter of Ann Carlson of Gold Beach and a graduate of Crater High School, says it was particularly rewarding to receive national recognition while attending a small university. She plans to attend the University of Portland as a fifth-year student, then apply to the Salk Institute at the University of California, San Diego, and the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh.

The 310 Goldwater Scholars for the 2004-05 academic year were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,113 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. A total of 161 of the scholars are men, 149 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a doctorate 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 56 Rhodes Scholarships (6 of the 32 awarded in the United States in 2004), 66 Marshall Awards (6 of the 40 awarded in the United States in 2004), and numerous other distinguished fellowships.

The Goldwater Foundation is a 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.

The University of Portland is an independently governed Catholic university guided by the Congregation of Holy Cross. U.S. News & World Report ranks the institution as one of the top ten regional universities in the West. It is the only school in Oregon to offer a College of Arts & Sciences, a graduate school, and nationally accredited programs in the schools of business, education, engineering, and nursing.

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