The annual Goldwater Scholarship goes to a group of undergraduate students "who have outstanding potential and intend to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering," according to organizers. The scholarship covers expenses for tuition, fees, books and room and board up $7,500 per year.
"The Goldwater is considered the premier undergraduate award in science and mathematics," says Jack Armistead, dean of Tennessee Tech's College of Arts and Sciences. "By winning this scholarship, Jennifer shows that Tennessee Tech's programs are right up there with the best in the nation. We are very proud of her."
Cox is a senior majoring in both physics and chemistry at Tennessee Tech. A native of Nashville, she is a 1994 graduate of McGavock High School and the daughter of Margaret Cox of Hermitage and Clifford Cox of Stone Mountain, Ga.
Cox is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society, Mortar Board national interdisciplinary honor society and Phi Kappa Phi national interdisciplinary honor society. She is also a member of the American Chemical Society. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to study nuclear physics.
Of the 282 students awarded Goldwater Scholarships for the coming academic year, only five are from Tennessee. Two of those attend Vanderbilt University; the other two attend universities outside Tennessee.
The scholarship was established in 1986 by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Fund to honor the former senator who served the country as a soldier and legislator for a total of 56 years, including 30 years in the U.S. Senate. Its purpose is "to alleviate a critical current and future shortage of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers," according to its founders. To date, the foundation has awarded 2,091 scholarships worth approximately $22 million.