PASADENA- Students from the California Institute of Technology won a large number of awards this past spring, including two Hertz Fellowships, Churchill Scholarship, three Department of Defense Fellowships, a Howard Hughes Predoctoral Fellowship, and a Watson Fellowship. Eighteen Caltech seniors, roughly 10 percent of the graduating class, were awarded prizes this year. Included with these prizes was the National Security Education Program (NSEP) Fellowship awarded to Caltech undergraduate Reuben Walter "Walt" Ogburn IV. Ogburn used his award to study the Russian language and culture this past summer in St. Petersburg.
While in St. Petersburg, Ogburn studied at the Russian State Pedagogical University. He took courses four days a week in Russian language,literature, and politics. Once a week, he attended organized excursions tov arious historical and culturally important sites. "I took part in the program to continue my studies in Russian," said Ogburn, who has been enrolled in Russian classes for the past two years.
To fulfill the required work obligation that comes with the award, Ogburn plans to spend the summer between his undergraduate and graduate coursework working at a national laboratory.
Ogburn is a senior majoring in physics. Before coming to Caltech, he received a full International Baccalaureate Diploma from Atlantic High School in Delray Beach, Florida. Since becoming an undergraduate at Caltech, he has maintained a 4.0 GPA, and has been involved in undergraduate research in addition to a host of other activities. Ogburn has held leadership roles in the Caltech Christian Fellowship and the Caltech Y, a nonsectarian campus organization that builds bridges between science and culture, politics, social consciousness, recreation, ethics, and leadership. In addition, Ogburn has twice been the recipient of the Carnation Merit Scholarship, in 1997 and 1998.
The National Security Education Program (NSEP) Fellowships allow undergraduates to spend anywhere from a summer to a year studying in a non-Western, non-English-speaking country. The student must study the country's language and should do research related to his or her undergraduate major. Founded in 1891, Caltech has an enrollment of some 2,000 students, and a faculty of about 280 professorial members and 130 research members. The Institute has more than 19,000 alumni. Caltech employs a staff of more than 1,700 on campus and 5,300 at JPL.
Over the years, 27 Nobel Prizes and four Crafoord Prizes have been awarded to faculty members and alumni. Forty-three Caltech faculty members and alumni have received the National Medal of Science; and eight alumni (two of whom are also trustees), two additional trustees, and one faculty member have won the National Medal of Technology. Since 1958, 13 facultymembers have received the annual California Scientist of the Year award.
On the Caltech faculty there are 75 fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and on the faculty and Board of Trustees, 68 members of the National Academy of Sciences and 46 members of the National Academy of Engineering.