Logan native and USU student named 2014 Goldwater Scholar

Logan native and USU student Rachel Nydegger, a 2011 graduate of Fast Forward Charter High School, is a 2014 Goldwater Scholar. The award is among the nation’s highest honors recognizing outstanding achievements in math and science.

LOGAN – Utah State University undergraduate Rachel Nydegger is a 2014 Goldwater Scholar and classmates David Griffin and Austin Spence received honorable mentions in a prestigious national competition that recognizes outstanding achievements in science and mathematics.

“This is well-deserved recognition for these students and a tremendous honor for Utah State University,” says USU President Stan Albrecht. “This award is a testament to the exceptional achievements of these individuals in academics, research and service, as well as the outstanding mentorship by our faculty.”

USU’s 2014 honorees, who represent the university’s College of Science, are members of the USU Honors Program and are active in undergraduate research. These scholars also share their time and talent in science outreach.

“This year’s scholars are focused young scientists who demonstrate a commitment to academic excellence as well as service,” says Jim MacMahon, dean of USU’s College of Science. “We applaud their dedication and look forward to their continued achievements.”

A 2011 graduate of Logan’s Fast Forward Charter High School, Nydegger is conducting light pollution research in Cache Valley. The physics and mathematics major was awarded an Aggie Scholar scholarship to USU and is also the recipient of Utah’s New Century Scholarship and an Energy Solutions Scholarship. She is an avid volunteer for Science Unwrapped, the College of Science’s public outreach program.

Following graduation from USU, Nydegger plans to pursue a doctorate in astrophysics, conduct research and teach at the university level.

A native of Roy, Utah, Griffin is studying physics and computer science. Spence hails from Salt Lake City and is majoring in biology and German.

The award is administered by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. With this year’s honorees, USU boasts 23 Goldwater Scholars and 11 honorable mention recipients since 1998. Each year, USU may submit up to four nominations for the award; a process coordinated by the USU Honors program. Scholarship award recipients receive up to $7,500 toward annual tuition and expenses.

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