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Juntunen receives Goldwater Scholarship

April 21, 2017

Hope Juntunen, a DSU physical sciences and biology for information systems double major from Hayti, S.D., is one of 240 college students from across the country awarded a 2017 Barry Goldwater Scholarship.

She is the only South Dakota college student to win the award this year, and the first ever from DSU. The $7,500 scholarships are awarded to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering.

The Goldwater Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 to serve as a living memorial to Senator Barry Goldwater, a soldier and statesman who served his country for 56 years, 30 of those years in the U.S. Senate. Students are selected based on academic merit. This year’s field included 1,286 natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering students nominated by the campus representatives at 2,000 colleges and universities nationwide.

“This puts DSU nationally on the map for excellence in scholarship and education,” said Dr. Donna Hazelwood, professor emeritus of biology and the Goldwater campus representative. “DSU only wins by having this national recognition.”

Juntunen benefits as well. The scholarship will allow her more time for research during the 2017-2018 school year. It’s also personally satisfying. “It really validates the hard work you’ve done when you get something like this,” she said.

The award also creates an awareness of the competitiveness of the DSU science programs, and how the disciplines such as biology and physics work together. “Not all schools have that close interaction,” Hazelwood said, but “for us, it’s a natural.”