Two students honored with Goldwater Scholarships

Publication Date

Two Union College students were honored with Goldwater Scholarships, the premiere undergraduate award for students pursuing careers in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering.

Hailey Stoltenberg ’23 and Christine Swanson ‘23 were chosen from 417 college students from across the United States. Each will receive up to $7,500 to cover tuition, fees, books and room and board.

To learn more about the Goldwater Scholarship, click here.

Hailey Stoltenberg

Major: Environmental Science

Hailey Stoltenberg

Hometown: Racine, Wis.

Activities: Student Forum Vice President of Sustainability for 2022-23 academic year, former U-Sustain co-chair and current Green Team coordinator, co-founder of the Ornithology Club, Meaning Making Mentor, and Ozone Haus/Ozone Cafe

Research: Last summer, I began working with Professor David Gillikin and Professor Donald Rodbell to reconstruct paleoclimate records in the tropics. I completed stable isotope analysis on a speleothem from a cave in Peru that my professors had extracted years prior. My summer fellowship consisted of taking microscopic drill samples from the speleothem, taking samples for Uranium-Thorium dating, and helping to complete x-ray diffraction on the entire speleothem collection. The goal of this research is to identify major climate events in Earth's history and compare them to the changes in our climate happening currently. This can help clarify the extent of warming that has been caused by humans, and also inform how the Earth might respond to anthropogenic climate change over the next millions of years. I will be continuing this project for my senior thesis next fall. This summer, I am going to be conducting research in forest ecology and tree hydrology at the University of Göttingen in Germany.

Career goal: I plan to obtain a Ph.D. in ecology. I want to continue on a research-focused path, because it allows for creativity and intellectual enrichment. I've always loved being a student, and I see myself as a lifelong learner. I want whatever research I do to be easily accessible to the public and also inform policy makers, so that hopefully I can make a difference in the world.

Christine Swanson

Major: Environmental Science

Christine Swanson

Minor: Data Analytics

Hometown: Manlius, NY

Activities: Union College Community Orchestra, Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, CNY Association of Professional Geologists, Greek Life and Order of Omega

Research: My research interests are in hydrology and data analytics. I am currently working on a few projects related to both groundwater and surface water quantity and quality issues. My most recent research project is focused on examining hydrologic factors controlling turbidity in streams.

Career goal: Obtain a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering and conduct research in the field of hydrology.