Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

October 10, 2007

Whitworth Junior One of Three Students Nationally to Receive
American Indian Science and Engineering Society Scholarship

Whitworth University junior Jennifer Johnston, a resident of Spokane, Wash., is one of three students nationally who has been awarded a $3,000 American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) scholarship. AISES awards annual scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students who are majoring in mathematics, science or engineering. Recipients must maintain a 3.2 GPA or higher, be full-time students, and be of American Indian or an Alaska Native heritage.

"Jennifer freely gives her time to help others and embodies the servant-leader ideal," says Whitworth Associate Professor of Physics Richard Stevens. "She is bright and talented – she truly deserves this scholarship."

Johnston, a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, is double-majoring in applied physics and math and is enrolled in Whitworth's pre-engineering dual-degree program. Once Johnston completes her coursework at Whitworth, she will finish the five-year program at Washington State University, one of Whitworth's partner engineering schools. After Johnston earns her engineering degree, she plans to pursue a career in architectural engineering.

"Through my Whitworth courses, I've found a place where satisfaction of puzzle solving in math mingles with the thrill of discovery in science," Johnston wrote in her 500-word scholarship-entry essay. "My family has always had high expectations for me and I have always pushed myself to do my best."

Just after completing her introductory courses in physics, Johnston was chosen to participate in a research project at Whitworth. Assistant Professor of Physics Kamesh Sankaran selected Johnston to assist with developing computational models to study extremely large magnetic pressures to understand how strong explosions affect certain materials. 

"I selected Jennifer to work with me on this research project because I was impressed by her hard work and her dedication to succeeding in her discipline," Sankaran says.

While at Whitworth, Johnston has maintained a 3.992 GPA and served as president of Whitworth's Four Directions Native Club for two years. She is active in the Spokane Regional Indian Tobacco Coalition, which is committed to the cessation and prevention of commercial tobacco use in the Native American community.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,600 students, offers 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Richard Stevens, associate professor of physics and department chair, (509) 777-4508 or rstevens@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information officer, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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