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Ariel BuehlerKNOXVILLE — A University of Tennessee, Knoxville, sophomore has been named a 2012 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar, one of the nation’s most prestigious honors for undergraduates.

Ariel Buehler, a food science and technology major from Farragut, will receive scholarship funding from the Goldwater Foundation for her remaining two years at UT. The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships are awarded yearly to sophomores and juniors pursuing careers in research in mathematics, natural sciences, or engineering.

This year, the Goldwater Foundation selected 282 scholarships from a pool of more than 1,100 nominees. In order to compete for a Goldwater Scholarship, students must be nominated by their college or university. Since 2008, UT has had at least one scholar or honorable mention in the Goldwater competition each year. In 2008 and 2011, UT had three Goldwater Scholars.

“It is an honor to represent UT in this national scholarship competition, and I am thrilled to be selected as a Goldwater Scholar,” Buehler said. “This is a great accomplishment for me personally and professionally and a great accomplishment for UT in our quest to be a Top 25 public research university.”

Buehler began doing research Professor David Golden’s food microbiology lab while a senior at Farragut High School. She has continued that research as a freshman and sophomore.

Golden said he realized Buehler’s potential early on.

“When I first began working with Ariel Buehler when she was a high school senior, I knew she was going to be special. Ariel not only had a knack for research in food microbiology, she had a passion for it,” he said. “She is exceptionally motivated, a gifted researcher, and it is an absolute pleasure working with her. She is garnering just about every accolade available to her, and I know she is going to become a widely recognized name in our field.”

Buehler is UT’s only Goldwater Scholar in recent history from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. She is a member of the Chancellor’s Honors and Haslam Scholars programs. She began working on her Goldwater application with the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships last fall.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship provides up to $7,500 per year for tuition, books, and room and board. Since it began the scholarship program in 1989, the Foundation has awarded more than 6,200 scholarships worth approximately $39 million dollars. In 2013, the Goldwater Foundation plans to award about 300 scholarships.

“The competition for Goldwaters continues to increase each year,” said Rebekah Page, assistant director of the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships, the campus unit which oversees the recruitment and nomination of Goldwater applicants. “In order to be competitive, students need top grades and extensive undergraduate research experience.”

Students who wish to compete for next year’s Goldwater Scholarship should contact the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships, which oversees the campus nomination process for the Goldwater as well as mentors students for all nationally competitive undergraduate and post-graduate scholarships.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,