Washington and Lee University juniors James Biemiller of Lancaster, Pa., and Eric Schwen of Cottage Grove, Minn., have each won a highly competitive 2014-15 Goldwater Scholarship, which promotes research careers in science, mathematics and engineering.
Biemiller, a double major in geology and physics, and Schwen, a physics major, were among 283 winners selected from a field of 1,166 sophomores and juniors nominated by their professors at colleges around the country. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
Both students plan careers in research and teaching at the university level, Biemiller in planetary geophysics or global seismology and Schwen in applied physics.
The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Congress in 1986 to honor the former Arizona senator. The program is the premier undergraduate award of its type. Numerous recipients have gone on to win other prestigious scholarships, including 80 Rhodes, 117 Marshalls and 112 Churchills, as well as National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships.
Including Biemiller and Schwen, 16 Washington and Lee students have won Goldwater scholarships since the program's inception.