Distance Ace One of 320 Sophomores and Juniors SelectedWILLIAMSBURG, VA - William and Mary's IC4A and CAA Champion Keith Bechtol (Alexandria, VA) has been selected as a Goldwater Scholar, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation announced recently. Bechtol, a sophomore, is one of 320 undergraduate sophomores and juniors from the United States to receive a Goldwater Scholarship for the 2005-06 academic year which covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. Bechtol, a Physics major, carries a GPA of 3.94 and last summer received the DeWilde Fellowship Research Grant. Under the auspices of the Research Experience for Undergraduates at William and Mary, Bechtol worked at Jefferson Lab in Newport News, Virginia to calibrate the magnetic field of neutrino detectors used in the Main Injection Neutrino Oscillation Search (MINOS), conducted by researchers at FermiLab in Batavia, Illinois and Soudan, Minnesota. Bechtol also traveled to FerminLab on several occasions for hands on work with the project and continues his work at Jefferson Lab this year. A three-time Dean's List selection, Bechtol will again participate in the College's Research Experience for Undergraduates this summer, working on a similar project at Cornell University. The sophomore has also won W&M's Provost Award for scholar-athletes and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Physics.
One of the Tribe's most decorated distance runners, Bechtol has already accrued a wealth of accolades in both cross country and track and field. The 2004 CAA Rookie of the Year in track and field, Bechtol campaigned on of the finest initial seasons by a Tribe runner, winning the CAA 5,000m and IC4A 10,000m titles as a rookie. Bechtol then capped his season with a qualification to the 10,000m at the World Junior Championships after claiming runner-up honors in the distance at the USATF Junior National Championships. He finished as the highest American (19th) at the Worlds and also ended the season boasting the fastest 10,000m time clocked by any American junior with his winning pace of 29:58.13 from the IC4A 10,000m. An NCAA Regional qualifier in the 5,000m, Bechtol finished 10th in the distance at the East Regional with a personal record of 14:34.08. As sophomore, he twice earned CAA Runner of the Week honors in cross country and qualified for the IC4As in the indoor 5,000m and outdoor 10,000m so far this track season, setting a new 10,000m personal record of 29:47.43 in his qualification.
Goldwater Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,091 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. One hundred sixty-five of the Scholars are men, 155 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their degree objective. Twenty-seven Scholars are mathematics majors, 239 are science majors, 45 are majoring in engineering, and 9 are computer science related majors. Many of the Scholars have dual majors in a variety of mathematics, science, engineering, and computer disciplines. Goldwater Scholars have very impressive academic qualifications that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs. Recent Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 58 Rhodes Scholarships, 72 Marshall Awards (6 of the 40 awarded in the United States in 2005), and numerous other distinguished fellowships.
The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on November 14, 1986. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator 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. In its seventeen-year history, the Foundation has awarded 4,562 scholarships worth approximately forty-five million dollars.