Physics major and Pennoni Honors College student Alyssa Wlison was named a 2009 Gates Cambridge Scholar. The fellowship supports students in graduate study at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
“The Drexel community is enormously proud of honors physics major Alyssa for winning one of the most prestigious international fellowships in the world,” said Interim Provost Mark Greenberg. “She joins 36 other top students there, chosen from the most prestigious American universities in various fields. While we who work at Drexel have come to expect excellent academic experiences and superb achievements in the classroom, the laboratory, the studio, and the clinic from our faculty and students, recognition like this says the world confirms our judgment at the highest level.”
Wilson will pursue a Ph.D. in physics with the distinguished Atomic, Mesoscopic and Optical Physics Group at Cambridge. She will focus on investigating quantum phenomena in mesoscopic systems.
“I decided to apply for the Gates-Cambridge Fellowship because I was interested in studying quantum theory at Cambridge, and also exposing the general public to science through outreach,” Wilson said. “The Gates Cambridge program was a way for me to fund my own education and lend momentum to my teaching career,” Wilson said.
At Drexel, Wilson is studying for a bachelor of science in physics with a minor in mathematics. She recently founded a physics mentorship program between Drexel and students at a Philadelphia middle school.
Ultimately, Wilson intends to do research and teach physics at the university level, while continuing her outreach efforts. She was selected as one of this year’s 37 Gates scholars from a pool of 752 applicants nationwide. She will begin her studies in October 2009.
The Gates Cambridge program is the equivalent of the Rhodes Scholars program, which supports U.S. students in graduate study at Cambridge University, rather than the University of Oxford for the Rhodes.
In October 2000, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of Seattle, Wash., announced a donation to the University of Cambridge of $210 million to establish the Gates Cambridge Trust.
The list of this year’s American scholars is available at http://www.gatesscholar.org/scholars/new_scholars.asp.
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