May 18, 2009                

AMHERST, Mass.—Amherst College sophomore Emma Fink, a biology major from Ontario, N.Y., and junior Leigh Harris, a chemistry  major from Phoenix, Ariz., are two of 278 sophomore and junior undergraduates from across the United States to receive a Barry M. Goldwater scholarship for the 2009-10 academic year.

Emma Fink ’11 and Leigh Harris ’10
Fink, who plans to earn a doctorate in molecular biology with a focus on genetics and the regulation of gene expression, hopes to ultimately teach at the university level and perform cutting-edge research in an academic environment. At Amherst, she has conducted research with biology professor Caroline Goutte, joined the equestrian team, written for the Amherst Element science publication, tutored fellow undergraduates in biology and volunteered as a tutor for a nonprofit organization in the local community. She was a recipient of a CRC Press Award for Freshman Chemistry as well as a Schupf Scholarship for Undergraduate Research.

Harris aspires to pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry with an emphasis on structural biology and conduct research and teach as a professor at a university. During her college career, she also worked in Goutte’s lab, served as an academic peer mentor and teaching assistant in both biology and chemistry, sang for the Amherst College Concert Choir and wrote for the Element. She is currently the president of Concert Choir, and plans on staying at Amherst this summer to begin research for her senior honors thesis with chemistry professor Anthony Bishop. She has been awarded Amherst’s Sawyer Prize for biology as well as the chemistry department’s White Prize.

The Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1986. Awards are made on the basis of academic merit to outstanding sophomores and juniors who plan to pursue careers in science, mathematics or engineering, and the scholarship covers expenses for tuition, fees, books and room and board for as much as $7,500 annually.

Founded in 1821, Amherst is a highly selective, coeducational liberal arts college with approximately 1,600 students from most of the 50 states and more than 30 other countries. Considered one of the nation’s best educational institutions, Amherst awards the B.A. degree in 34 fields of study.