Goldman Wins Prestigious Scholarship

Feb. 26, 2002
By Marc Zawel
Sun News Editor

Joshua Goldman ’02 will not face the same post-graduation anxiety many seniors will experience in the coming weeks. As a recipient of a highly contested Marshall Scholarship, Goldman knows he will be spending the next two years studying in the United Kingdom.

Up to 40 Marshall scholarships are awarded annually to college seniors to study for two academic years in Great Britain all expenses paid.

“I am elated,” Goldman said. “At times I thought I had a really good shot at winning, but by the time I heard, it was totally unexpected.”

This year, 12 Cornellians submitted Marshall Scholarship applications. In a typical year, the commission chooses winners from 800 to 1,000 applications.

Goldman applied for the scholarship in the fall of 2001 by submitting a three-page application, a personal statement and a proposed academic program.

Once Goldman had gathered these materials, he submitted it to the Cornell endorsement committee, consisting of 18 faculty members, many of whom are past Marshall or Rhodes Scholars. After interviews and extensive review of application materials, the Committee endorsed Goldman along with nine other Cornell students.

Goldman was then flown to San Francisco for an interview at the British Consul General’s residence.

“We talked quite a bit about science and scientific ethics and eventually wound our way toward moral philosophy, which wasn’t exactly my forte in the discussion,” Goldman said.

“It came out all right in the end, and I was offered the scholarship by phone,” Goldman said. “I was happy to accept on the spot.”

“I knew he would get it,” said Prof. Robert H. Lieberman, physics. “I can’t think of anyone more deserving,” he added.

Goldman, a Cornell Presidential Research Scholar, former president for the Society of Physics Students and former vice president of Kappa Delta Rho fraternity, will spend his first year at Cambridge University studying applied mathematics and theoretical physics. The following year, he plans to study at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, for a master’s degree in condensed matter physics.

“I’m certainly interested in science policy and scientific writing, but I also enjoy teaching so it seems like I would lean toward academia after graduate school,” he said. “My interests may well change by the time I get to that point though,” he added.

Goldman is also excited at the prospect of frequent travels throughout Great Britain and Europe. “The cultural and social elements of being a Marshall Scholar will be at least as important and probably even more fun,” he said.

“I expect great things of Josh in the world. He intellectually holds his own; I admire him,” said Lieberman.

The Marshall Scholarship program was founded by an Act of Parliament in 1953 as a gesture of thanks for American support during World War II.

Goldman is Cornell’s 28th recipient of the scholarship since 1962. The previous two winners of the scholarship were Alexander Ru ’00 and David Roberts ’99.

“The response from fellow Cornellians has been the most gratifying,” Goldman said. “Students and faculty alike are genuinely excited for me, making me truly feel like I’ve done well not just for myself and my family, but also for Cornell.”

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