UA Student Receives Prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

  • April 6th, 2000

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A University of Alabama student has received a prestigious two-year Goldwater Scholarship, one of the nation’s premiere undergraduate awards for study in the field of mathematics, natural sciences and engineering.

Jessica F. Kidd, a sophomore from Coker double-majoring in geology and English within UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, joins only four other students from the state of Alabama and 309 students nationwide in receiving the highly coveted academic award. Goldwater scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of more than 1,100 applicants from colleges and universities across the country. The scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

Kidd participated in a research project during the summer and fall of 1999, which included the study of different chemical compounds in the closed basins of a number of Antarctica lakes. She is currently working on an abstract of her research for a presentation at the Spring 2000 Geological Society of America meeting. Her ambitions are to work as a research geologist after obtaining her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geology, with the ultimate goal of pursuing a doctoral degree.

“Working as a research lab assistant in the University’s geology laboratory has strengthened my desire to be a research geologist,” said Kidd. “All the people around me share an enthusiasm in their work, and I see their attitudes as a result of being in a field where there is constant opportunity for discovery and learning. My work has fostered in me the desire to do the highest quality work, and I think a career as a research geologist would help me maintain this attitude.”

“I have never seen one as young as Jessica be so adept in the laboratory environment,” said Dr. Berry Lyons, Kidd’s faculty nominator at UA. “There is no doubt that Jessica will continue to develop into an outstanding geochemist and an excellent researcher.”

In addition to receiving the Goldwater Scholarship, Kidd has also been awarded with other top honors. Including being named a National Merit Scholar and Robert C. Byrd Scholar, she is also a member of the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and the Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society.

Kidd is the 13th student from The University of Alabama to have been awarded the scholarship since the Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1984. The Foundation has awarded more than 3,000 scholarships totaling more than $31 million.


Lance M. Skelly, Office of Media Relations, 205/348-3782

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.