March 27, 2007

Two students win prestigious Goldwater awards

by Tim Crosby

erin shanle

Erin Shanle

jared burde

Jared Burde

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Two students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale are among the nationwide elite who will receive scholarships from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

Jared T. Burde, a junior from Carbondale, and Erin K. Shanle, a junior from Rochester, are among only 13 college students in Illinois to receive the award. Each will receive $7,500 for the 2007-2008 school year to cover tuition, books and living expenses.

Laurie Bell, assistant director of the University Honors Program at SIUC, said the program identified and mentored both students early in their careers at the University.

"We have outstanding quality students here and a wonderful faculty to help them," Bell said. "It's just a matter of identifying them early and making sure they are on the right path, mentoring them and having them follow through on the work.

"We are very proud of these two," she said.

A physics and electrical engineering major, Burde is the son of John H. and Beverly Burde of Carbondale.

"I was very excited because it is a prestigious scholarship and the application process was a lot of work," Burde said. "We worked a long time on it, and I had a lot of help from my professors and the major scholarships office, so I was glad to see it all came to fruition."

Burde said his career goal is to earn a doctorate in surface physics and conduct research on the process of adsorption on carbon nanostructures. He hopes to focus on developing applications for filtration and chemical detection at a major research university.

Burde's father, John H Burde III, is an emeritus professor of forestry at SIUC. He said growing up in an academic household influenced his decision to pursue that lifestyle.

"I fell in love with that because we were able to travel a lot because of my father's work," he said. "I hope to teach at a research university and have the opportunity to travel overseas to do research."

A chemistry and botany major, Shanle is the daughter of Loren C. and Karen Shanle of Rochester and the wife of Josh Martin, who will graduate in May with a degree in plant and soil science. Shanle said she was "shocked and surprised, but very excited,' upon hearing she had won the scholarship.

"It's a big honor," she said. "Plants are nature's chemists so I want to study them to look for sources of medicines and other compounds that have commercial applications, things that are useful."

Shanle, who plans to graduate in May 2008, wants to earn a doctorate in botanical biochemistry and conduct biochemical research while teaching.

The foundation board of directors selected just 317 undergraduate sophomores and juniors nationwide for the award, which honors the late Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, R-Ariz. The board selected the students on academic merit from a field of 1,110 mathematics, science and engineering students nominated by faculty members.

Of the winners, 174 are men and 143 women, nearly all of who intend to pursue a doctorate in their chosen field of study. Many of the students, including Burde and Shanle, have dual majors.

The Goldwater Foundations is a federally endowed agency created in 1986 aimed at assisting outstanding students in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering. Since its creation, the foundation has funded 5,202 scholarships worth about $51 million. Scholarship winners often receive other leading awards. Recent recipients also have received 69 Rhodes Scholarships and 86 Marshall Awards, among others.

The board plans to award about 300 scholarships for the 2008-2009 academic year.

Burde and Shanle bring the number of Salukis winning the prestigious award to five. Previous winners include Teresa J. Gisburne in 2004 and Kathleen M. Lask and Austin T. Mohr, both of whom won in 2006.