Vandna Jerath, a Johns Hopkins University junior from Martinez, Ga., has been selected as a Goldwater Scholar, one of 310 chosen nationwide, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation has announced.
The scholarship will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 for one year. Jerath is majoring in neuroscience, with a minor in the Writing Seminars, and plans to pursue a career in medicine. She is one of two Goldwater Scholars from Johns Hopkins this year.
Jerath, 21, began doing research on autism in 2002 near her hometown, where she compiled an anthology of poetry by highly functioning autistic individuals. Since then, she has used funds from her Provost's Undergraduate Research Award from Johns Hopkins to create Autism Netverse ( www.jhu.edu/netverse), which gives people with autism a forum to express themselves through writing and visual arts.
The PURA program affords students at Johns Hopkins the unique opportunity to conduct independent research during their undergraduate years. In the summer of 2003, Jerath also received a grant from The Howard Hughes Summer Research Fellowship Program to conduct autism research under the mentorship of pediatric neurologist Dr. Stewart Mostofsky at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. The Howard Hughes program each year awards approximately 30 undergraduates in the schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering with $3,000 stipends. Fellows conduct laboratory research for nine weeks during the summer with a Johns Hopkins faculty member. There are also opportunities to participate in seminars and social activities.
The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,113 mathematics, science, and engineering students nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. One 161 of the scholars are men, 149 are women, and most intend to obtain a Ph.D.
The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established in 1986. The scholarship program honoring Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, R-Ariz., was designed to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields. The foundation has awarded 4,272 scholarships worth approximately $42 million.
Jerath is the daughter of Drs. Ravinder and Rita Jerath, of Martinez, Ga. To speak with Jerath and her advisors, contact Amy Cowles at 443-287-9960.
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