TWO HAVERFORD STUDENTS AWARDED
Two Pennsylvania students in Haverford’s
astronomy program have been awarded one of the most prestigious
undergraduate scholarships of its type. Third-year student Christine
Lamanna of McMurray and sophomore Megan Roscioli of Easton are
among 300 math, science and engineering scholars nationwide
who were selected as 2003 Goldwater Scholars by the Barry M.
Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.
The scholarship covers costs of tuition, fees, books, room,
and board for up to $7,500 per year.
“Winning the scholarship came
as an enormous surprise,” says Christine Lamanna, who
is currently studying abroad in Germany. “I am very honored
to have been chosen.” Lamanna plans to pursue a Ph.D.
in astrophysics and collaborate internationally with scientists
in the field. Last summer she worked with Haverford astronomer
Stephen Boughn, comparing a catalog of radio sources with fluctuations
in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), radiation left over
from the Big Bang.
“Christine is very bright and
excited about astronomy,” says Boughn. “She can
take a problem and make a lot of progress in discovering things
for herself. It’s unusual for science students to show
so much self-reliance so early in their careers.”
Haverford’s second winner,
Megan Roscioli, also worked with a Haverford faculty member
on his research last summer. She credits that learning experience
with her winning the scholarship. This summer, Roscioli plans
to work for the astronomy department at Williams College in
Williamstown, Mass. as part of the Keck Consortium, which allows
eight liberal arts colleges—including Haverford—to
exchange students for summer research projects. In the fall
semester, she will be studying at Oxford University.
“Megan is energetic, cheerful,
and hard-working,” says Bruce Partridge, professor of
astronomy, who worked with Roscioli on a research project last
summer. “She was eager to get into research in astronomy
and to see what scientists do with their lives. And she has
been very successful in her research in radio astronomy.”
Juan Cabanela, a postdoctoral fellow
and visiting assistant professor at Haverford who worked alongside
Partridge and Roscioli, remembers how Roscioli ran the world’s
largest telescope, the Arecibo Dish in Puerto Rico. “She’s
incredibly motivated,” he says, “and driven to accomplish
what she wants to accomplish.”
Astronomy has been offered at Haverford
since the College’s founding in 1833. Three Haverford
presidents have taught the subject, and scores of professional
astronomers, active in both research and in teaching, have graduated
from the department. Many students have become involved with
faculty research early in their undergraduate careers, co-authoring
scientific papers with their professors and traveling to major
national observatories such as the Very Large Array (VLA) of
27 radio telescopes in New Mexico.
The William J. Strawbridge Observatory
houses a number of optical telescopes and workstations for processing
radio and optical data from Haverford’s cameras and other
telescopes, as well as a library containing 3000 bound volumes
and the most relevant astronomy journals. Once a month during
the academic year, the observatory is open to the public.
department has an excellent national reputation,” says