Daniel Van Beveren '20 Named Goldwater Scholar
The physics major is one of 496 students selected from across the country for the scholarship, an annual award for outstanding undergraduates who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics, or engineering.
Junior physics major Daniel Van Beveren was recently selected for this year’s Barry Goldwater Scholarship. The award, which covers tuition, fees, room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year, supports sophomores and juniors in excellent academic standing who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics, or engineering. Van Beveren is one of 496 scholarship winners selected from a field of over 1,200 nationwide nominees this year.
“I would not have received this scholarship—or even majored in physics—if the professors and mentors I’ve worked with weren’t so fantastic,” said Van Beveren. “Professor Suzanne Amador Kane taught my first physics class at Haverford, which got me hooked on physics, and then offered me a spot in her lab the following summer. That was my first exposure to real research, and I had a great time with it.”
That research—on the biomechanics of peafowl crests during social displays—resulted in a paper in PLOS ONE late last year co-authored by Van Beveren and Kane. Since concluding that work, he has been busy conducting research on the conductivity of modified DNA strands with another Haverford physics professor, Walter Smith, and plans to spend his summer performing experimental studies on turbulent fluid flows at the University of Maryland, College Park’s National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates site.
“I arrived at Haverford with a vague intention of studying physics, but I didn’t know what physics really was or what I was getting myself into,” said the Eagle Scout, cricketer on Haverford’s varsity team, and treasurer for Haverford’s chapter of the Society of Physics Students. “I was enthralled throughout the first-year intro sequence, and blown away by the second-year courses. Equally important, I found that I liked the department—both the extraordinary professors and tight-knit, friendly community of students—just as much as I liked the material.”
The scholarship program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was created as part of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, a federally endowed agency instituted by an act of Congress in 1986. Over the past 33 years, Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 92 Rhodes Scholarships, 137 Marshall Awards, 159 Churchill Scholarships, 104 Hertz Fellowships, and numerous other distinguished awards.