Two UNL students earn Goldwater Scholarships for science research

Released on 04/18/2013, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, Neb., April 18th, 2013 —
Jay Geschwender
Jay Geschwender
Steve Parkison
Steve Parkison

            Two University of Nebraska-Lincoln students have been selected as Goldwater Scholars for outstanding research in science. They are Daniel Jay Geschwender, a junior computer science major, and Steve Parkison, a junior electrical engineering major. Both are from Omaha.

            Goldwater scholarships are for aspiring scientists, mathematicians and engineers. About 300 college sophomores and juniors receive them nationwide, with awards up to $7,500 a year for educational expenses.

            Geschwender has been working with Berthe Choueiry, associate professor of computer science and engineering, and has participated in several computer-programming competitions. He also has taken a summer internship position at Smart Information Flow Technologies, a research and development consulting company specializing in human factors and artificial intelligence.

            Parkison has worked with Lance Perez, professor of electrical engineering and associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, for the past two years in the Mobile Communication and Coding Lab.  Parkison is also the vice-president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers student chapter.  Beyond being involved on campus, he has participated in an engineering study abroad trip to Italy led by Ece Erdogmus, associate professor of architectural engineering, and had an internship at Johnson Space Center working on systems for crewed space crafts.

            Parkison said he hopes to earn a Ph.D. and conduct research in robotic perception and computer vision in either academia or private industry. "I plan to go on to graduate school and winning the scholarship reassures me that the decisions I have made through college have been mostly correct," he said.

            Geschwender said he also plans to continue research, someday working professionally in either an academic or industrial setting. He said winning the Goldwater has marked an important milestone in his research career. "I am very proud of all the time and effort I've put into my research and having it recognized with a prestigious award only increases this," Geschwender said.

            Ashley Thelen, a junior biochemistry major from Mitchell, S.D., also was awarded a Goldwater Honorable Mention for her research with associate professors of biochemistry Melanie Simpson and Joe Barycki.