Joseph Carpenter poses for a photo in Steitz Hall of Science.
Joseph Carpenter, here in the atrium between the Steitz and Youngchild halls of science, is the recipient of a Goldwater Scholarship that supports undergraduates in STEM fields. (Photo by Danny Damiani)

Joseph Carpenter, a Lawrence University mathematics and physics double major, is the recipient of a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship.

This is the third time in the last five years that a Lawrence student has been among the national honorees in the Goldwater Scholarship Program, which honors the late Sen. Barry Goldwater and was designed to foster and encourage high-achieving students in the fields of math, natural sciences, and engineering. 

Carpenter, a junior from Minneapolis, has worked with Doug Martin, associate professor of physics, in devising a research-grade optical microscope. The microscope is capable of research-grade multi-color fluorescence imaging and brightfield or darkfield imaging that users can take apart and re-assemble. The students involved not only learn how to use microscopes but how to re-design them for new experiments.

“I had the opportunity to conduct research at Lawrence last summer through the LURF (Lawrence University Research Fellows) program,” Carpenter said. “My work with Professor Martin on developing an open-source microscope gave me the experience necessary to be competitive for the Goldwater.”

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The Goldwater Scholarship Program, one of the oldest and most prestigious national scholarships, seeks to identify, encourage, and financially support college sophomores and juniors who show promise of becoming the next generation of research leaders in natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics.

“This scholarship is valuable to me in that it will support my undergraduate studies while providing me with the opportunity to connect with other Goldwater Scholars as I prepare for the next stage of my education,” Carpenter said.

Claire Kervin, assistant professor of English and director of fellowships advising, worked with Carpenter to prepare his application.

“The Goldwater Scholarship recognizes Joseph's impressive academic accomplishments and his outstanding potential to become a leader in scientific research,” Kervin said.

In 2019, Willa Dworschack ’20, a physics major from Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin, was named a Goldwater Scholar. She was doing research in atomic and molecular optics.

In 2020, Travis Dillon ’21, a mathematics major, earned the Goldwater honor for his significant math research both on and off campus.