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​McDonough ’12 Named Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention

1McDonough-photomain.jpgProvidence, R.I. – Providence College student Thomas McDonough’12 (Westborough, Mass.), a chemistry and mathematics double major, has been selected as an honorable mention for the 2011 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established in 1986 to honor the late U.S. Senator.  The goal of the program is to alleviate the current and future shortage of highly-qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers.

Only 275 college sophomores and juniors received the premier undergraduate award this year.  McDonough is one of 199 students to receive an honorable mention for the Goldwater Scholarship.

“I am honored to be recognized as one of the standout applicants from among a very competitive applicant pool,” McDonough said.  “These applicants are the top math and science students from universities around the country.”

McDonough, who has a 3.91 grade point average, has conducted research at PC for the past year and a half alongside Dr. Christopher M. Laperle, assistant professor of chemistry. Beginning in the summer of 2010 and continuing throughout the academic year, McDonough used infrared spectroscopy and density functional theory calculations to study the solution dynamics of iron pentacarbonyl.  He will be continuing his research this summer.

Laperle called McDonough a “model research student” who works “diligently, independently, and produces meaningful data.”

“He has always been willing to go beyond what is required.  I often have found him in the research lab working on his projects in his free time late at night and on the weekends,” Laperle said.  “I am constantly impressed with his ability to critically assess his results and meticulously outline future courses of action.”

A member of the Pi Mu Epsilon (mathematics) and Sigma Xi (scientific research) honor societies, McDonough – an avid runner who has run two marathons, including the famed Boston marathon – will serve as treasurer of the College’s American Chemical Society/Phi Chi organization during the next academic year.

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