UMass Junior Wins Prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

AMHERST, Mass. - Jonathan Celli of Dover, Mass., a junior at UMass, has won a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. He was one of just 302 students in the United States to win the award for the 2001-02 academic year.

Goldwater Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit, and are students who intend to pursue careers in science, mathematics, or engineering. This year, 1,164 students were nominated for the award from colleges and universities nationwide. The scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to $7,500 a year.

"It is wonderful for the student and the University that Jon has received this important award. The Goldwater Scholarship committee is building a strong record of success and they deserve great credit for finding and supporting our best students in the sciences," said Professor Susan Whitbourne, coordinator of the Office of National Scholarship Advancement. "My office will be working with Jon to help him prepare for future applications to other prestigious national scholarships." Previous Goldwater Scholars at UMass were Larry Shumway and Wenshu Yu.

Celli is majoring in physics and music at the University. Each discipline provides him with a break from the other, said Celli, who plays the organ. After graduating from UMass, he hopes to earn a Ph.D.in high-energy physics, and become a physics professor at a research university. In addition to his academic work, Celli has served as assistant organist at St. John''s Episcopal Church in Northampton. Celli said he is pleased to have performed so well in the scholarship competition, which he said was quite stringent, requiring several essays.

"Since the purpose of the Goldwater Scholarship is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified individuals to research careers in science, mathematics, and engineering, Jon''s serious involvement in research as an undergraduate was clearly an important element in his scholarship application," said Robert Hallock, interim dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. "We are very proud that Jon''s academic achievements and outstanding commitment to research in high energy physics have been recognized by the Goldwater Scholarship Program."

Recent Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 39 Rhodes Scholarships, 32 Marshall Awards, 11 Churchill, 10 Fulbright, 30 Hughes, 93 National Science Foundation, and numerous other prestigious fellowships. The 13-year-old scholarship program honors U.S. Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, and is designed to foster and encourage outstanding students pursuing careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.