Montana State University

MSU among top 10 of institutions for number of Goldwater recipients

September 11, 2013 -- MSU News Service

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Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN – Montana State University is among the top 10 in the nation of institutions that have received the most Goldwater Scholarships, the country’s premier scholarship for undergraduates studying math, natural sciences and engineering.

MSU now has 58 recipients, the same as Johns Hopkins University and two more than Yale University and the University of Washington. The totals come from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, which was established by Congress in 1986. Each scholarship winner receives up to $7,500 a year for tuition, fees, books, and room and board.

“Our Goldwater ranking reflects the abundance of undergraduate research opportunities available to students at Montana State University,” said Ilse-Mari Lee, director of MSU’s Honors Program. “Our students are inspired, taught and mentored by faculty who have been recognized as leaders in their respective fields. 

“In considering the ‘why's’ of our success, I have come to the conclusion that it is a direct result of two of our Carnegie classifications: Very High Research Activity combined with Very High Undergraduate Enrollment,” Lee continued. “This is a win-win combination for our students."

Four MSU students received the Goldwater Scholarship in 2013. That’s the maximum a university is allowed to nominate, so the fact that all four nominees were selected was a tremendous achievement, Lee said.

Those recipients were Alissa Bleem of Fort Collins, Colo., chemical engineering; Natasha Pettinger of Laramie, Wyo., biochemistry, chemistry and German; Brian Redman of Crane, electrical engineering; and Matt Sherick of Hudson, Wis., chemical engineering and bioengineering. For more information, go to

MSU’s recipient in 2012 was David Halat of Bozeman, chemistry and mathematics. Honorable mentions went to Brian Redman of Crane, electrical engineering; Bryan Vadheim of Miles City, chemical engineering and economics; and Nels Gerstner of Fort Collins, Colo., chemistry. For more information, go to

MSU’s 2011 winners were Casey Donoven of Kremlin, mathematics; and Daniel Barta of Helena, earth sciences. Honorable mentions went to Nathan Caroll of Ekalaka, paleontology; and David Stevens of Ronan, computer science. For more information, read


Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or