Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology juniors Anna Braun and Casey Garner have been named Goldwater Scholars, one of the most prestigious honors for undergraduate students majoring in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering.

Braun and Garner were among 211 Goldwater Scholars selected from 1,280 candidates nationwide based upon academic merit. Each Scholar will receive $7,500 from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation to support their continued studies in their chosen academic field.

Braun is a chemical engineering and chemistry double major from Union, Kentucky, with a near-perfect 3.98 grade-point average. Garner is from Carlisle, Indiana, is a former valedictorian at Sullivan High School and maintains a perfect 4.0 GPA as a mathematics and computational science double major.

For the past two years Braun has worked with chemistry and biochemistry professor Rebecca DeVasher to examine the material science behind the degradation of perovskite photovoltaic cells to make them more cost effective and have a longer productive lifespan. She also has conducted research into solar cell development during an internship at the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado and is planning to return there again this summer. Braun is president of Rose-Hulman’s Engineers for a Sustainable World student group.

Garner is working with mathematics Professor Allen Holder to develop a new mathematical model that’s an extension of Data Envelopment Analysis, a useful tool in applied mathematics. He presented their research at Rose-Hulman’s Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration Symposium last fall and made another presentation on the topic at the institute’s Undergraduate Mathematics Conference. Garner is planning to explore applied mathematics this summer during a National Science Foundation-sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates project at Cornell University.

Seven Rose-Hulman students in the past four years and 11 over the past nine years have been named a Goldwater Scholar or honorable mention designee. Several of these alumni Goldwater Scholars have gone on to earn doctorate and medical degrees, and become physicians, researchers, scientists and product development professionals.

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