Penn State students were quite successful in the 2014-15 Goldwater Scholarship competition. Jacob Wisser (junior Schreyer Scholar, major in Physics) was awarded Goldwater scholarship for academic year 2015/16, while Sylvia Biscoveanu (sophomore Schreyer Scholar, double majoring in Physics and Spanish), and Ryan Creedon (junior, a double major in mathematics and meteorology) , were awarded Goldwater Honorable Mentions.

Jake_Wisser_Picture1Jake Wisser shared his experience with the University Fellowships Office, urging other Penn State students to visit our Office: “I’ve been working with Dr. Mendum and the fellowships office since the beginning of my sophomore year, and the whole team has made the scholarship application process easy and stress-free. From the personal meetings with Dr. Mendum about which fellowships to apply for, to the helpful and prompt emails from Jeff, it truly was almost no extra work for me to apply for multiple scholarships once I had the personal statement written. I strongly recommend anyone considering applying for fellowships to setup an appointment with Dr. Mendum to begin the process.”    Jake is a physics student from Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Inspired by his parents to go into science, his high school physics teacher helped him discover that his true passion was physics. Since coming to Penn State he became involved in research during his freshman year in Professor Ying Liu’s superconductivity lab, and eventually joined Professor Nitin Samarth’s lab where he studies thermoelectric materials. Jake studies these materials in hopes of growing materials that can efficiently transfer wasted heat energy back into electricity.   Sylvia Sylvia Biscovenau is a sophomore Schreyer Scholar double majoring in Physics and Spanish and pursuing minors in Mathematics and Violin Performance. She is involved in astrophysics research in the lab of Dr. Miguel Mostafá studying cosmic rays using data from the Pierre Auger Observatory. Her career goals are to pursue a Ph.D. in Physics and eventually go into research in theoretical cosmology focusing on the early universe. She was a recipient of the President’s Freshmen and Sparks Awards at PSU, as well as a National Merit Scholar. She is also a dedicated musician and enjoys performing on both violin and viola. This summer, she will be conducting gravitational wave research at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and looks forward to spending the fall semester studying abroad in Madrid, Spain.




Ryan Creedon is a junior Schreyer scholar with a double major in mathematics and meteorology. He intends to pursue a Ph.D. in applied mathematics with concentration in geophysical fluid dynamics. Last summer, Ryan interned at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, where he conducted research on climate signals observed in Europe’s hydroclimate. This summer, Ryan will begin his thesis at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, Washington, as part of the NOAA Ernest F. Hollings fellowship. He will be investigating potential climate signals in Pacific Ocean turbulence. In addition to research, Ryan is employed by Penn State Learning as a Math 140 Guided Study Group leader and 200-level math tutor.