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April 3, 2008

Pitt students win Truman, Goldwater scholarships

Three Pitt students recently were named recipients of national scholarship awards.

Eleanor Marie Ott was named a 2008 Harry S. Truman Scholarship winner; Todd Morton Moyle and Charles Richard Sleasman II won Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships.

Ott is Pitt’s 11th Truman winner and is one of 65 students from 55 U.S. colleges and universities to be chosen this year from a field of 595 candidates at 283 schools.

An Honors College junior and 2004 Chancellor’s Scholar, Ott has a triple major in chemistry, history and French and is finishing an Honors College BPhil degree with a thesis on the antecedents of the refugee crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Ott plans to pursue master’s degrees in international affairs and public administration. Her career goals include working with a human rights-oriented nongovernmental organization. She aspires to one day be a United Nations protection officer, advocating for refugee camp residents.

Congress established the Truman scholarship in 1975 in memory of the 33rd U.S. president. The merit-based federal award is given to college juniors who wish to attend graduate or professional school in preparation for careers in government, the nonprofit sector, or elsewhere in public service. Each scholarship provides up to $30,000 for graduate study.

Award recipients also receive a trip to Truman Scholars Leadership Week at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo. The event culminates in an awards ceremony May 18 at the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Mo.

Sophomores Moyle and Sleasman were among 321 undergraduates selected from a field of 1,035 students. They bring Pitt’s total of Goldwater scholars to 38 since the program was established in 1986 in honor of the late U.S. senator. The one- or two-year awards to sophomores and juniors provide up to $7,500 per year for students seeking careers in mathematics, science or engineering.

Sleasman, who is majoring in physics and mathematics at Pitt, plans to pursue a PhD in physics. His goal is to conduct experimental research in quantum computing or other areas of physics and to help increase the general public’s knowledge of physics.

Moyle, a chemical engineering major, plans to pursue an MD or PhD in biomedical engineering with an emphasis on research in the field of human diseases. His goal is to discover new pharmaceuticals and develop novel and cost-effective methods for producing them.

In addition to Pitt’s two Goldwater winners, Timothy Michael Adamo, a mathematics and psychology major, received an honorable mention in the Goldwater competition.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

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