Melissa Hutcheson '15, a physics major at Agnes Scott College, has received an Honorable Mention for The Goldwater Scholarship, a prestigious national scholarship awarded to outstanding science, math and engineering students. The recognition is Agnes Scott's second from the Goldwater Scholarship in two years; Christine Franzel '13, an Agnes Scott senior majoring in mathematics and chemistry, won a Goldwater Scholarship in 2012.
Sophomores and juniors are selected for The Goldwater Scholarship nationally 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.
Hutcheson was also one of 15 students selected nationally to attend the Educational Research in Radio Astronomy (ERIRA) program in Green Bank, WV in the summer of 2012.
"Melissa is an amazing student all around," said Chris De Pree, professor of astronomy at Agnes Scott who works with Hutcheson to research massive star formation. "She is intelligent, dedicated, hardworking and a skilled observer. Her combination of insight and perseverance will take her far."
This summer, Hutcheson will do high-energy particle physics research at the University of Michigan for 10 weeks, spending one of those weeks at a particle accelerator lab in Tokai, Japan.
"I like hands on research, I like to carry a project all the way through." Hutcheson said. "Anything that's applied physics is very cool."
After graduation, Hutcheson is considering several academic paths and is interested in possibly designing telescopes or probes for space exploration.
"I think it would be amazing if I could apply my love of hands-on, experimental physics to astronomy, astrophysics or basic space exploration. As long as I'm contributing to the field of physics or astronomy, I'll be happy," Hutcheson said.
Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location – offering myriad cultural and experiential learning opportunities. A diverse and growing residential community of scholars, this highly selective liberal arts and sciences college is known for its dynamic and challenging intellectual community. Encouraging students to engage the wider world through study abroad and presenting its curriculum with international context, Agnes Scott College delivers on its promise: The World. For Women.