Formal Scholarship Thank You Letter Template by sxl18042

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									             KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
                          2009-10 Campus Application for the
                      Barry S. Goldwater Scholarship

Dear Student:

Thank you for your interest in the Goldwater Scholarship. Kansas State University can nominate up to four
students to compete nationally for this award. We will choose our nominees on the basis of this campus

The campus deadline is October 26, 2009. Students who are nominated will subsequently revise and
submit their applications nationally in January 2010 through the Goldwater website.

This file includes the following . . .

    General Instructions                                2-3
    Goldwater Eligibility Checklist                     4
    Goldwater Bulletin of Information                   5-7
    Goldwater Application Form                          8-11
    Instructions for Goldwater Recommenders             12         Copy for Recommenders
    K-State Recommendation Waiver                       13         Copy and Sign for Recommenders
    Writing Strong Letters of Recommendation            14         Copy for Recommenders

If you still have questions after reading this document . . . please contact me. We want eligible students to
apply and will gladly talk with prospective applicants.

The campus committee looks forward to reading your application.


Jim Hohenbary
Goldwater Faculty Representative
Kansas State University
112 Eisenhower Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-1005
(785) 532-6904

Read the following instructions carefully. Make special note that you will copy and distribute several
supporting pages to those who write your letters of recommendation.

1.   The campus deadline is October 26, 2009. All parts of the application should arrive by 5 PM that day.
     Late applications will be accepted, but they may not receive priority consideration. Please mail or
     deliver it to the following address:

                                     Jim Hohenbary
                                     College of Arts and Sciences
                                     Kansas State University
                                     112 Eisenhower Hall
                                     Manhattan, KS 66506-1005

2.   Make sure you are eligible to apply by reviewing the checklist on Page Four.

3.   A complete application will consist of:

        Three letters of recommendation minimum. You may submit more than three at the campus level.
         Letter writers should include the signed K-State Recommendation Waiver with their letter.
        High school transcript.
        All college transcripts, including any college credits earned during high school.
        Completed Goldwater Application Form:
               Pages 8-10 of this file
               Resume
               Goldwater Research Essay

4.   Request that a K-State transcript be sent from the Registrar (118 Anderson Hall: 532-6254) to the
     address listed above. The campus committee cannot obtain one for you. Please do not use ISIS or
     DARS to make unofficial transcripts. Also contact all other colleges you have attended for college
     credit, even during high school, and ask them to send a transcript. All parts should arrive by October
     26 as well.

5.   Request an official transcript from your high school. Send it to the address listed above.

6.   Once students are nominated at the campus level, they will complete the online application from the
     Goldwater website. However . . . we are not using that online application in the campus selection
     process. We are using this MS Word template instead. Do not begin that national application unless/
     until you are nominated.

7.   Request letters of recommendation. Copy the Instructions for Goldwater Recommenders, the K-
     State Recommendation Waiver and Writing Strong Letters of Recommendation for each person.
     At least three letters are required. However, we are happy to consider more than three in the campus
     selection process. Regarding the waiver form, it is generally considered stronger to waive your right to
     see letters written on your behalf . . . it assures readers that the appraisal is candid.

8.    Letters should also arrive to 112 Eisenhower Hall by October 26. They can arrive independently or
     you can include them with your application materials. If your recommenders have questions, they
     should contact Jim Hohenbary at (785) 532-6904. At least three letters should come from Kansas State
     faculty and/or professionals in your academic field. Letters from family friends, pastors and high
     school teachers are not at all helpful in this competition.

9.   Choose a topic for your essay. Students are strongly encouraged to write about the research
     experiences in which they are currently involved. Consult with your faculty mentors and research
     supervisors while writing the essay. Jim Hohenbary can also advise applicants regarding the essay.
     Samples of strong Goldwater essays are also available for review in his office. Note that having some

    form of undergraduate research experience is generally prerequisite to competitive candidacy.

10. Set aside time to prepare an organized, thoughtful and precise application. The campus committee is
    only allowed to nominate four candidates to compete for the Goldwater. Note that you cannot spell
    check within the form fields. However, you can cut and paste your short essays into a blank file for the
    purpose of spell checking.

11. There are no interviews in the Goldwater competition. We will notify you in late November regarding
    whether you have been selected to represent K-State. Nominees should then contact their faculty
    mentors about ways to strengthen their essay. They will also work with Jim Hohenbary on their
    applications before the national deadline.

12. Plan to edit and polish your application in December/January and transfer it onto the Goldwater
    website if you are selected as a Goldwater nominee for Kansas State University. The national
    application will be due by January 29, 2010.

Once again . . . please contact Jim Hohenbary if you have questions regarding the Goldwater Scholarship or
the campus application. Consultation is welcome. Call (785) 532-6904 or write or visit
112 Eisenhower Hall.

                           Goldwater Eligibility Checklist
    Sophomore or Junior status. Sophomores are defined as students having two more full years of
     undergraduate study after May 2010. Juniors are defined as having one more full year of
     undergraduate study after May 2010. Students planning five years of undergraduate study are eligible
     to apply during the third or fourth year.

    Officially: 3.0 minimum GPA and upper quarter of your class. Practically: 3.8 or higher is typically
     needed to remain even minimally competitive. The national average for winners is about 3.95.

    Plan to pursue an advanced degree (usually a PhD) in the natural sciences, mathematics or engineering.
     Plan to pursue a research career in one of those areas. However, research is broadly defined. Possible
     settings might include work within a university, research lab, government agency or corporate R&D
     unit. Applicants should aspire to careers in knowledge creation and innovation.

         Note that students who plan to study medicine are eligible for a Goldwater Scholarship only if
          they plan to work primarily as medical researchers.

         Goldwater Trustees have historically considered scientific engineering, rather than applied
          engineering, more appropriate for Goldwater Scholars. Talk with me if you have concerns that
          this might pertain to you. They are looking for students who are interested in adding to the
          knowledge base/advancing new technologies.

    US citizen, resident alien or US national from American Samoa or the Mariana Islands.

    If you are too advanced in your curriculum to qualify for the Goldwater but would qualify in other
     ways, talk with me about the NSF Graduate Fellowship and several other options that may apply to
     you, depending on your research focus. Some graduate fellowship deadlines are in October.

    If your interests relate to ecology or environmental science, you should also consider applying for the
     Udall and/or possibly the Hollings . . . which are also undergraduate awards.

                                            Wildcat Success
    K-Staters have won 64 Goldwaters since the award was introduced in 1986. This makes Kansas State
    the most successful public university in America when it comes to the Goldwater. Kudos to all the K-
    Staters whose undergraduate excellence is reflected in those numbers! We believe this is compelling
    evidence that our current students (you) have what it takes to be successful in the Goldwater competition.

                       Goldwater Bulletin of Information
This abridged Bulletin of Information has been edited and reformatted from the web for use in the campus
selection process at Kansas State University. Go to if you would like to read the
complete Bulletin of Information.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was authorized by the United
States Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a
soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. The creation of this program pays
tribute to the leadership, courage, and vision of Senator Goldwater and establishes in his name an endowed
recognition program to foster and encourage excellence in science and mathematics.

The purpose of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, as stated in
the enabling legislation, is to alleviate a critical current and future shortage of highly qualified scientists,
mathematicians, and engineers. A more realistic statement of the purpose, in today's terms, is to provide a
continuing source of highly qualified individuals to those fields of academic study and research.

The Foundation is supported by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Fund,
which has been established in the Treasury of the United States. Funding for awards and administrative
expenses derives from interest on the Trust Fund, invested in U.S. securities.

General Guidelines
The Foundation will award undergraduate scholarships to outstanding students, to be known as Barry M.
Goldwater Scholars, in Spring 2010 for use during the 2010-2011 academic year. The awards will be made
on the basis of merit to two groups of students -- those who will be college juniors and those who will be
college seniors in the 2010-2011 academic year -- who have outstanding potential and intend to pursue
careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. Four-year institutions are eligible to nominate
up to four students who are in the sophomore or junior class during the 2009-2010 academic year. To be
considered, a student must be nominated by his or her college or university.

Each scholarship covers eligible expenses for undergraduate tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up
to a maximum of $7,500 annually. Scholarship monies not used during one academic year are not
transferable to the next academic year. Junior-level scholarship recipients are eligible for a maximum of
two years of scholarship support, and senior-level scholarship recipients are eligible for a maximum of one
year of scholarship support.

The Trustees intend to award up to 300 Goldwater Scholarships. The number of scholarships to be awarded
per state will depend on the number and qualifications of the nominees from the 50 states, the District of
Columbia, Puerto Rico, and, considered as a single entity, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and
the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The word "resident" as used in this context refers to a person who has legal residence in the state from
which he or she is a candidate. This status might be indicated by parental place of residence. If that
criterion of residence is not relevant, the candidate's legal residence will be determined by his or her
eligibility for in-state tuition rates (where applicable) and place of voter registration.

Career in Mathematics, Natural Sciences, or Engineering
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Program was created to encourage outstanding students to pursue
careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering and to foster excellence in those fields. In
awarding scholarships, the Foundation Board of Trustees will consider the nominee's field of study and
career objectives and the extent to which that individual has the commitment and potential to make a
significant contribution to his or her field.

Nominees for Goldwater Scholarships must include in their nomination materials a statement of interest in
a career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering, detailing how their academic program and
their overall educational plans will prepare them for their chosen career goal. It is expected that students
selected as scholars will pursue advanced degrees. Students who plan to study medicine are eligible for
a Goldwater Scholarship only if they plan a research career rather than a career as a medical doctor
in a private practice.

Conditions of Eligibility
To be considered for nomination as a Goldwater Scholar, a student must:

     1.   Be a full-time matriculated sophomore or junior pursuing a degree at an accredited institution of
          higher education during the 2009-2010 academic year. "Sophomore" is defined as a student who
          plans two more years of full-time undergraduate study beginning September 2010. Sophomore
          nominees can expect to receive a maximum of two years of support. "Junior" is defined as a
          student who plans one more year of full-time undergraduate study beginning September 2010.
          Junior nominees can expect to receive a maximum of one year of support.
     2.   Have a college grade-point average of at least "B" and be in the upper fourth of his or her class.
     3.   Be a United States citizen, a permanent resident, or, in the case of nominees from American
          Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, a United States national. Nominations from
          permanent residents must include a letter of the nominee's intent to obtain U.S. citizenship and a
          photocopy of the Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as the Alien Registration Card).

Nomination Procedures
The Institution of Higher Education
All candidates for scholarships are nominated by their college or university. The Foundation will not solicit
or accept applications directly from candidates but will advise applicants as to the appropriate procedures.

Four-year institutions may nominate up to four current sophomores or juniors. If an institution chooses to
nominate more than one student, these nominees may reside in the same state or district or they may be
from different states or districts.

The Nominating Official
Each participating institution must appoint a faculty representative to serve as liaison between the
institution and the Foundation. Jim Hohenbary is the Goldwater FacRep for Kansas State. The faculty

     1.   Publicizes the Goldwater Scholarship Program on campus.
     2.   Solicits faculty recommendations of outstanding students who demonstrate commitment to
          pursue a career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering.
     3.   Establishes the process to select the best qualified candidates to be nominated
     4.    Helps nominees prepare for the competition.
     5.   Ensures that nominations are complete and submitted online by the stated deadline.

National Selection Procedures

Initial Evaluation
An independent review committee appointed by the Foundation will evaluate all valid nominations and
recommend the most outstanding nominees from each state for consideration by the Board of Trustees.

Nominees are evaluated on:

     1.   Demonstrated potential for and commitment to a career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or
     2.   Outstanding academic performance.

Final Selection
From among the candidates recommended by the independent review committee, the Board of Trustees
will name up to 300 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars. The number of scholarships to be awarded per state will
depend on the number and qualifications of the nominees from the 53 jurisdictions.

Payment of Scholarship Awards
To be eligible to receive payments a Goldwater Scholar must submit in writing:

     1.   An acceptance of the scholarship award and a direct deposit form, used to open a scholar account
          for electronic funds transfer of scholarship payments.
     2.   At the beginning of each academic year, a single statement of eligible expenses, certified by the
          authorized financial officer of the enrolling institution, including those for tuition, fees, books,
          and room and board; plus an additional certification regarding the scholar's academic program;
          and other certifications as required by law or regulation.

Payments from the Foundation may supplement, but not duplicate, benefits from another foundation,
institution, or organization. In other words, the benefits from all sources combined may not exceed the
costs of tuition, fees, books, and room and board for the academic year. The scholar must notify the
Foundation promptly of any changes that occur during the year in his or her academic status or to the yearly
payment request form information.

                2008 Goldwater Campus Application Form

Biographical Information
Local Address

Local Phone
Home Address

I am a:       U..S. Citizen        U.S. National           Permanent Resident

Educational Information
Anticipated Graduation Date
My grade level according to the Conditions of Eligibility is:               Sophomore        Junior
How many credits will you achieve as of January 1, 2009?
How many credits do you plan to achieve for graduation?
What is your cumulative GPA from all schools attended?
What is the highest degree you plan to pursue?                    Masters        M.D.         Ph.D.
What will be your intended area/field of specialization?
In one or two sentences, describe your career goal:

If you have indicated a combined MD/PhD degree, why is a medical degree necessary for you to achieve
your research goals?

Letters of Recommendation
Please indicate who you have asked to complete letters on your behalf. We require at least three for the
campus competition, but we appreciate and consider additional input if you choose to ask more than that.
1.                                                      4.
2.                                                      5.
3.                                                      6.

Course Information / Short Essays
1. List courses in your major in which you are currently enrolled, courses in your major in which you plan
to enroll before graduation, and courses in mathematics/science/engineering outside your major in which
you are currently enrolled or plan to enroll. List by title and not by catalog number.

In major–currently enrolled          In major–plan to enroll               Math/science/engineering–
                                                                           outside of major

2. List past and present research activities. Explain the duration, degree and significance of your
involvement, including what responsibilities you had in the project. In the absence of formal research
experience, briefly describe any other skills or accomplishments – posters, presentations, publications, etc –
significant and relevant to this application.

3. What are your professional aspirations? Indicate in which area(s) of mathematics, science and/or
engineering you are considering making your career and specify how your current academic program and
your overall educational plans will assist you in achieving this goal.

4. Describe an activity or experience that has been important in clarifying or strengthening your motivation
for a career in science, mathematics or engineering.

5. Goldwater Scholars will be representative of the diverse economic, ethnic and occupational
backgrounds of families in the United States. Describe any characteristics or other personal information
about yourself or your family that you wish to share with the review committee.

Resume & Research Essay
Please include the following supplemental documents with the application form (Pages 8-10) and
transcripts when you hand in your application.

1. Resume
You may use an existing resume as a starting point, both in terms of content and style. You are not limited
to one page. Use as many pages as necessary for a complete listing. Include dates. Make sure and include
sections for:

              Any awards, honors and/or scholarships you have received.
              Any activities you have participated in at the university (including offices held).

You need not include research activities since those are detailed in the short essay section above. However,
it is fine if you choose to include that information in the resume as well.

2. Research Essay

The Goldwater Research Essay should be no more than two pages with a font size no smaller than 11
point. Please title and sign your essay. You can/should include a bibliography, references and illustrations
as appropriate.

The official prompt for the essay is:

Discuss a significant issue or problem in your field of study that is of particular interest to you.

Your essay must include a description of the issue or problem, discuss an idea for research that could have
significant impact on the issue or problem, describe an aspect of the research in which you would be
involved, and explain the relevance of the issue or problem to you as a mathematician, scientist or engineer.
The content and style of your essay will be important to the success of your scholarship application.
Assume that your reader is knowledgeable in mathematics, science and engineering; and will have the
expertise to read, review and understand the complexities of your field of specialty.

If your essay involves research in which you are or were involved, please indicate if you are or were the
sole researcher or if you collaborated with other individuals.

Practically speaking, most successful essays by K-State applicants will discuss research that they are
currently involved in at the undergraduate level. We recommend that you:

            Provide some background regarding the larger problem that animates the project. What is the
             significance and context of the research?
            Detail the more particular aims of your research project. What specifically are you trying to find
             out and what is the experimental setup for doing so?
            Narrate what has been accomplished. What have you done so far?
            Overview any results thus far and provide a sense of where you expect the research to go in
             upcoming months. What are you planning to do next?

As the prompt indicates, this should be a technical essay that demonstrates your ability to handle the
technical jargon of your field with clarity and precision.

Sample essays are available for review in 112 Eisenhower Hall.

              Instructions for Goldwater Recommenders
The campus selection committee can choose only four nominees to represent Kansas State University in the
Goldwater competition nationally. With that in mind, we very much appreciate your willingness to write a
letter of recommendation on behalf of your student. Thank you. Carefully prepared letters that supply
meaningful detail are highly valued by the committee.

Here is what the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program indicates they are
looking for in letters of recommendation at the national level.

   The student [requesting a letter from you] is preparing for a career in mathematics, the natural sciences
   or engineering. Up to 300 scholarships will be awarded on the basis of academic performance as well
   as demonstrated interest in and commitment to a career in mathematics, the natural sciences or

   Please evaluate the student’s:
         Personal characteristics
         Motivation
         Potential for a career in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering.

   Your evaluation must address the following:
       In what criteria do you base your judgments?
       How does the nominee meet your criteria?

   Provide specific examples of the nominee’s performance and any particular incidents that illustrate the
   nominee’s maturity, initiative and potential.

Here are some additional details specific to the campus selection process:

    1.   Please send/address your letter to:                    Jim Hohenbary
                                                                Kansas State University
                                                                College of Arts and Sciences
                                                                112 Eisenhower Hall
                                                                Manhattan, KS 66506-1005

    2.   Recommenders sometimes ask about an appropriate greeting. Dear Goldwater Selection
         Committee works well.

    3.   If your student is nominated, you will be asked to submit an updated letter to the national
         competition in January through their new online application portal.

    4.   The campus deadline is October 26, 2009.

    5.   Your student should also provide you with a signed Recommendation Waiver. Please include
         the waiver with your letter.

    6.   Please contact me at (785) 532-6904 or if you have questions. Thank you again
         for your time and effort in support of the Goldwater nomination process.

                 K-State Recommendation Waiver Form
NOTE TO APPLICANT . . . you (not your recommender) should fill out this form.

1.   Please copy this form.
2.   Fill out one form for each person who writes a recommendation for you
3.   Give a completed form to each recommender.
4.   Ask your recommenders to submit the form with their letters.
5.   We will not show you a copy of any letter of recommendation or share details of its contents for which
     you waive your right of access.
6.   References do generally carry more weight when confidentiality is assured.



I waive my right of access to the letter written by the person named above.

      Signature ____________________________________________________________


I choose not to waive my right of access to the letter written by the person named above.

      Signature ____________________________________________________________


This form specifically relates to and only applies to letters written for the Goldwater Scholarship
competition. Please mail this form and your completed letter of recommendation to . . .

Jim Hohenbary
College of Arts and Sciences
Kansas State University
112 Eisenhower Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-1005

        CAMPUS DEADLINE for the Goldwater is OCTOBER 26, 2009

              Writing Strong Letters of Recommendation
Thank you for your desire to help your student with an effective letter of reference. It is much appreciated.
K-Staters have enjoyed a tradition of great support over the years. Based on that tradition, this page offers
some tips to help mentors optimize their impact.

The Goal
National committees typically face dozens of equally impressive applicants. However, reference letters
reflect the view of those people who know the student best. As such, they can prove decisive if they help
the student stand out from the paper crowd. The strongest letters should:
     1. Detail how you know the student.
     2. Illustrate the qualities that you value in him/her.
     3. Contribute new/original information and insight to the application.
     4. Offer some basis for comparison.
     5. Situate the student in relation to the award criteria.

    1. Review what the scholarship is looking for.
    2. Review the application materials that the student will present (if possible).
    3. Inspect any forms that must be completed.

How to Generate Detail
   1. Anecdotes are extremely valuable. They make for engaging reading and bring your claims to life.
   2. Discuss a project or paper that the student handled well. You might even quote it.
   3. Highlight a conversation or class discussion or group contribution that especially impressed you.
       How was it illustrative of quality of mind, outlook or character?
   4. Explain research undertaken by the student. Discuss how he/she tackled it.
   5. Highlight skills or passions that the student has shown in action. Perhaps connect to goals.
   6. Personality traits like curiosity, professionalism, humor and work ethic are worth talking about.
   7. Narrate how the student has grown over time. And/or narrate how your view of the student has
       changed. Or how your interactions have evolved.
   8. What do you like most about the student? How you did become aware of those qualities?
   9. Has the student worked on campus/community events that you have been involved with?
   10. Explore how the student compares to other top students over the years. Or to his/her peer group.
   11. See if anything in the transcript is deserving of comment or explication.

Things to Avoid
   1. Letters that are too short or too long. Full letters show enthusiasm/knowledge of the applicant.
   2. Spending more than a paragraph talking about your credentials or your pedagogy.
   3. Rehashing the resume. Pull out several resume items and offer added insight/appraisal instead.
   4. Generic or vague praise. It confers no advantage if it could apply to most good students. She
       showed up for class very regularly.
   5. Hedging. It appears that I have good reason to suspect that this student might be a solid prospect.
       And I have no cause for concern in recommending him to you.
   6. These tips assume a very strong letter is desired. Techniques such as brevity and hedging can
       certainly find effective use when less enthusiastic support is intended.

    1. Careful criticism among genuine praise can lend credibility.
    2. But critical comments are taken very seriously. The notion that some aspect of the letter must
         criticize to be taken seriously seems more false than true.
    3. Too much praise can work against the student if it lacks support or ignores notable limitations.

If you are writing for a major scholarship competition, I am always glad to answer questions, offer input or
provide more information. Please contact Jim Hohenbary at 112 Eisenhower or 785-532-6904.


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