Barry Goldwater, one- time presidential candidate and a U.S. senator for over 30 years, had an interest in science and technology.
According to the Goldwater website, “the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater.”
This respected scholarship program is competitive. Of over 1,000 mathematics, science and engineering students who apply nationwide each year, only up to 300 are selected. Since 1991, Sarah Rehn is only the sixth Boise State student to win this award.
“It is prestigious and very difficult to win,” said Emily Jones in an email. Jones is Boise State’s new national scholarship coordinator.
“In fact, the Goldwater Scholarship is the most prestigious award for American undergraduates studying in the sciences,” Jones said.
Rehn researched independently as a senior in high school and is majoring in chemistry at
She is researching a detection system in the DNA reaction network.
Within 24 hours, the test would detect the increased levels of certain chemicals in the blood that typically appear in the early stages of the disease patients are being tested for.
This is great news for cancer patients, who normally find out after they have developed a tumor.
Andrew Finstuen, of the Honors College, helped Rehn through the application process. Rehn started her application in October so she could complete it by the February deadline.
Applicants for the scholarship tend to have a 3.9 GPA or better.
“It was a long shot,” Rehn said. “I found out about the scholarship through the Boise State website, on the Honors College page. They have a list of all the national scholarships you can apply for. I saw the Barry Goldwater was one for students in the STEM fields. So, I decided to apply for it.”
Rehn went on to discuss how strenuous the applying process is.
“Just writing the essay was pretty tedious because it was a very technical essay about research,” Rehn said. “So, it was hard to write. It was the first time I had written a technical scientific paper.”
Rehn will attend Boise State for two more years before attending graduate school to get her Ph.D. in biochemistry.
After school, she hopes to do research for a national laboratory or for a pharmaceutical company.