News and Events

Distinguishing Features: CLAS Students Stand Out

Article Originally published in the April 2006 issue of CLASnotes.

Prestigious Scholarships for CLAS Students

Jeffrey Wong
Jeffrey WongDonald Burnette
Donald BurnetteBruce Haupt
Bruce Haupt
Ashley Bittner
Ashley Bittner

The Goldwater Foundation recently selected three UF students to receive a Goldwater Scholarship, including CLAS students Donald Burnette and Jeffrey Wong.

Burnette, a sophomore majoring in physics and mathematics, plans to earn a PhD in physics and to research at a top institution specializing in the study of the properties of materials within condensed matter physics. He is involved in several outreach programs with K–12 students and has won science fellowships from the Center for Condensed Matter Sciences. Wong, a junior, has a double major in microbiology and cell science and biochemistry. A Beckman Scholar and Lombardi Scholar, Wong plans to earn an MD/PhD in molecular biology and conduct research focused on developing breakthrough platform therapeutics for cancer and infectious disease. Lauren Culver, a junior majoring in materials science and engineering, is the other UF winner.

Nationally, there were 323 Goldwater scholarships awarded for the 2006–2007 academic year given to sophomores and juniors from the US. The foundation selected scholars on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,081 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by their colleges and universities. The scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation has selected two CLAS juniors as winners of its national scholarship program for students preparing for careers in leadership in public service. Ashley Bittner, a history and political science double major, and Bruce Haupt, a political science major, have each received $30,000 for graduate school.

Bittner is president of the Honors Ambassadors and has been active in the First-Year Florida course, the Florida Alternative Breaks program and the Center for Leadership and Service. She has interned with US Senator Bill Nelson in Washington, DC, and has been recognized as a J. Wayne Reitz Scholar, a Wentworth Scholar and a McLaughlin Scholar. She intends to enter a joint degree program for a master’s in public affairs and a juris doctor.

Haupt is a Campus Diplomat and a member of Chi Phi and Students In Free Enterprise. Before transferring to UF, he was president of Phi Theta Kappa international honor society, founder of Civic Rock and a student ambassador at Brevard Community College. Florida Leader magazine named him one of the top 20 student leaders of Florida in 2003. Haupt will pursue a master’s in public policy and a PhD in higher education administration.

The Truman Foundation requires students to be nominated by their institution, and Bittner and Haupt are the only two students selected from Florida. In 2006, 75 students from 63 colleges and universities were selected as Truman Scholars from a pool of 598 candidates nominated by 311 colleges and universities. Bittner and Haupt will join other scholars in May for a week-long leadership development program at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, and receive their awards at the Truman Library on May 21. Visit for a list of 2006 Scholars.

Recent Truman Scholarship winners from UF, who are all CLAS graduates, include Max Miller (2004), Teresa Porter (2003) and Michael Gale (2002).

Go-Getter Gator Wins Scholarship for Graduate Study

Jenna BattilloJenna Battillo, a junior majoring in anthropology and classical studies and minoring in geological sciences, is one of 20 national winners of the prestigious Beinecke Scholarship. UF was first invited to submit one nominee for the scholarship program in 2003, along with about 100 colleges and universities. This year, there were a total of 87 nominations nationwide.

A native of Hawthorne, Battillo participated in an intensive archaeological dig in Cyprus with the Research Experience for Undergraduates program through the National Science Foundation in summer 2005. She is an Anderson Scholar and a member of Eta Sigma Phi classics honor society, Lambda Alpha anthropology honor society and the University Honors Program. She plans to pursue a PhD in anthropological archaeology.

The Beinecke Scholarship Program seeks to encourage and enable highly motivated students to pursue opportunities available to them and to be courageous in the selection of a graduate course of study. Since 1975, the program has selected more than 315 college juniors from 94 different schools to support during their graduate study at any accredited university. Each scholar receives $2,000 immediately prior to entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school.

Outstanding International Students

Several CLAS undergraduate and graduate students recently received Outstanding International Student Awards. They were nominated by their departments for exceptional academic achievement and honored during a ceremony held at the Reitz Union Auditorium in April. They are: Xiaohui Feng, chemistry; Sophie Croisy and Nishant Shahani, English; Joel Black, Eunhye Kwon and Michal Meyer, history; Youssef Haddad, linguistics; Sung-Soo Kim, Gheorghe Lungu and Aravind Natarajan, physics. Two CLAS students also received the Alec Courtelis Award, which is given each year to exceptional international students by Louise Courtelis in honor of her late husband, who was the former chairman of the Board of Regents. Aparna Baskaran (physics) received a $3,000 prize and Maisa A. Haj-Tas (communication sciences and disorders) earned a $1,500 prize. Francesca Spedalieri (mathematics) won a $500 Diane Fisher Scholarship.

CLAS Act: UF's Top Student Teachers

The UF Graduate School recently honored the university’s most outstanding student teachers for their excellence in the classroom with Graduate Student Teaching Awards. More than 50 students were nominated by their departments campus-wide and, following a rigorous selection process conducted by a faculty committee which included several classroom visits, 20 students were selected for the award—including nine from CLAS. Of these, the top two candidates were named Calvin A. VanderWerf Award recipients, established in memory of a former CLAS dean and chemistry professor. Both VanderWerf winners were from CLAS: Rebecca Brown, English and Amanda Davis, women’s studies. The other recipients were John Bowden, chemistry; Paul Corogin, botany; Deicy Jiménez, Romance languages and literatures; Julia (Raymer) Keller, chemistry; Adnan Sabuwala, mathematics; Nishant Shahani, English; Meredith Terry, psychology and Robert Uttaro, political science.



Allyson A. Beutke


Photo by Jane Dominguez

back to the 2006 news index >>

top >>

CLAS Navigation

News, Calendar of Events, Head of the CLAS, Submit News/Event, Media


CLAS Portals


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

2014 Turlington Hall
P.O Box 117300
Gainesville FL 32611
P: 352.392.0780
F: 352.392.3584