UO physics student wins Goldwater Scholarship

EUGENE, Ore. -- (April 6, 2011) - Courtney Klosterman, a University of Oregon student who is already involved with research to further efficiency of solar energy, is a recipient of the competitive, national Goldwater Scholarship. Courtney Klosterman

The award, funded by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program, is for college students who intend to pursue careers in science, mathematics and engineering.

Klosterman, from Salem, Ore. is a junior majoring in physics. She works in the UO physics lab of Stephen Kevan, the department head who nominated her for the scholarship.

"Courtney is a very dedicated and hard-working young physicist," said Kevan. "She has a very bright future in front of her in whatever career she decides to pursue."

The focus of her work in Kevan's lab is on solar cells and how to improve efficiency with newer materials. The subject was also the topic of Klosterman's essay that was submitted for judging.

"Solar energy has so much potential," said Klosterman. "With improvements, it can be more efficient and more widespread in its use when the global needs for new sources of energy are great."

This summer, she will visit the University of California, Los Angeles for an internship with a solar energy program. After graduating from the UO, she plans to pursue a graduate and PhD program and ultimately work in a national lab where applied physics can benefit society.

"Physics allows us to calculate how things work, how we predict nature and to understand what is happening around us," she said.

The Goldwater Award, created by Congress to honor the late Arizona Senator Barry M. Goldwater, was given to 275 students this year from 1,095 applications submitted by undergraduate sophomores and juniors in the U.S.

The UO nominated four students for consideration. In addition to Klosterman, two other UO students received honorable mention: Gina Blackburn, physics major, and Alexandra Hartman, biology major.

About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.

Contact: Julie Brown, 541-346-3185, julbrown@uoregon.edu