Three UT Students Awarded Goldwater Scholarships

KNOXVILLE — Three University of Tennessee, Knoxville undergraduates have received the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. William Bradley O’Dell, Jamie Elise Troupe and Casey Jameson Williams have received the scholarships, which provide the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. O’Dell and Troupe, both juniors, will receive one-year scholarships; Williams, a sophomore, will receive a two-year scholarship.

A fourth UT student, Elizabeth Anne Jacobs, of Knoxville, received an honorable mention in the scholarship competition. Jacobs, a junior in the College Scholars program, is majoring in solid state chemistry and condensed-matter physics.

With three recipients and one honorable mention, UT matches Harvard, MIT, Princeton and Duke in this year’s Goldwater competition and furthers its national reputation for high-quality undergraduate education in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.

Nationwide, 321 sophomores and juniors received the scholarships, awarded by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. There were 1,035 applicants, and the recipients were chosen on academic merit.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on Nov. 14, 1986. The scholarship program honoring Sen. Barry M. Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.

The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.

The UT recipients are:

• William Bradley O’Dell, of Newport, Tenn. He is in the Chancellor’s Honors and College Scholars programs and is majoring in structural chemistry. His future goals include earning his master’s degree and doctorate in physical chemistry and then conducting research on molecular structures and dynamics at a scientific institute or international user facility.

• Jamie Elise Troupe, of Tullahoma, Tenn. She is in the Chancellor’s Honors and College Scholars programs and is majoring in animal behavior and learning. Her future goals include earning a doctorate in animal behavior and then conducting research and working as an applied animal behaviorist.

• Casey Jameson Williams, of Kingsport, Tenn. He is in the Chancellor’s Honors and College Scholars programs and is majoring in medicinal and synthetic organic chemistry. His future goals include earning a doctorate in medicinal chemistry, conducting collaborative research for the synthesis of drugs to treat neurodegenerative diseases and teaching at a major research university.

With more highly qualified students entering UTK each year, university officials say they are experiencing a growing interest in top-tier scholarships, such as the Goldwater.

The university this year opened a new Office of External Scholarships to help students apply for and win prestigious post-graduate scholarships such as the Rhodes and Fulbright. Professor Emerita Anne Mayhew, who retired as vice chancellor for academic affairs in July 2006, is the director of the new office.

In its 20-year history, the Goldwater Foundation has awarded 5,523 scholarships worth approximately $54 million. The trustees plan to award about 300 scholarships for the 2009–2010 academic year.

Of this year’s 321 recipients, 189 are men and 132 are women. Nominated by the faculties of their colleges and universities, 33 of the recipients are mathematics majors, 227 are science and related majors, 52 are majoring in engineering and nine are computer science majors. Many are dual majors, and most of the recipients say they intend to obtain their doctorates.

For more about the Goldwater Scholarship, see


Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,