Two WSU Science Majors Win National Goldwater Scholarships

PULLMAN, Wash. — Two Washington State University science majors won Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships for the 1999-2000 school year.
Biochemistry major Stephanie Gantt and biochemistry/biophysics major Catherine Ratliff won two of the 304 Goldwater Scholarships awarded nationwide this spring to college sophomores and juniors.
A junior in the WSU Honors College, Gantt is a 1996 graduate of Hanford High School in Richland. She spent two summers on a research team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory studying the use of mass spectrometry as a rapid screening tool for bacterial analysis. Her work there is being prepared for publication. At WSU, she works with Professor Kevin Bertrand on research on E.coli bacteria’s resistance to antibiotics. She serves on the Honors Students’ Advisory Council and is on an honors student residence hall planning committee. A National Merit Scholar, Gantt also received WSU’s four-year Glenn Terrell Distinguished Presidential Scholarship and a four-year, state of Washington Robert C. Byrd scholarship. She is planning a career as a professor at a research university and hopes to investigate protein structure and function.
Ratliff, also a junior in the Honors College, is active in the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. She is a 1996 graduate of Olympia’s Capital High. She is a member of the Order of Omega, Golden Key and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies, and received a Glenn Terrell Presidential Scholarship. For two years, she conducted research in the laboratories of professors Keith Dunker and Kerry Hipps on gene regulation using atomic force microscopy to measure the hardness of nucleosome particles, which has moved her to the cutting edge of scientific research. Ratliff plans to pursue a career in cancer research.
The Goldwater Scholarship Program, created by Congress in 1986 to honor Sen. Goldwater, recognizes students with outstanding potential who intend to pursue careers in natural science, mathematics or engineering. Each winner receives up to $7,500 toward tuition and other college expenses. The awards are based on academic merit. This year’s winners were selected from 1,181 nominations.