Senior Honors Student with Triple Major Named UM's 12th Goldwater Scholar

April 2010 By

OXFORD, Miss. - Honors student Anna Kathryn Hailey has been named the University of Mississippi's 12th Barry M. Goldwater Scholar.

The Ole Miss senior from Muscle Shoals, Ala., is the eighth UM student to receive the prestigious award since 2000. Last summer, Hailey became the university's first exchange student with the Institute for Thermal Power Engineering at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. While there, she joined Chinese researchers in their work on carbon storage and sequestration methods.

"I was very happy and excited to learn I had received the Goldwater," said Hailey, who is pursuing a triple major in Mandarin Chinese, chemistry and chemical engineering. "This scholarship will help pay for my fifth year of college, which I need to complete my three majors. Then I hope the Goldwater will help me gain admission into graduate school so I can continue my studies."

Already with enough academic credit hours to be qualified as a senior, Hailey expects to complete requirements for her bachelor's degree with three majors in 2011. Following graduation, she said she plans to earn a doctorate in chemical engineering or environmental engineering so she can continue research on alternative energy sources.

Hailey credits Ole Miss faculty and staff across many disciplines for giving her a solid foundation for her future career path.

"I would like to thank Dr. (Debra) Young and the Honors College for encouraging me to apply for this scholarship, and Dr. (Wei-Yin) Chen, Dr. (Nathan) Hammer, Dr. (John) O'Haver, Dr. (Haidong) Wu, and the rest of the chemical engineering and chemistry departments for their unwavering support," she said. "Ole Miss has been so good to me."

Faculty members in Hailey's major fields of study boast of her academic achievements and dedication.

"Anna has distinguished herself from other students in academic performance, research accomplishment, community and professional services, vision and personality," said Chen, professor of chemical engineering and Hailey's primary mentor and research supervisor. "The Goldwater Scholarship will be an enormous encouragement to her career preparation."

"Anna has a drive to learn, a drive to understand, a drive to expand her personal boundaries," said O'Haver, associate dean of chemical engineering. "She has a very solid global perspective, which she will bring to all of her activities and make her the ideal scientist-engineer-researcher for the future."

"Anna is an exemplary student in every respect," said Clint Williford, chair and professor of chemical engineering. "She has maintained a strong GPA while pursuing a five-year, three-degree program. Through intensive study, she passed a language exam qualifying her to take engineering courses in China."

Wu, associate professor of mathematics, echoed those sentiments.

"Anna is a remarkable student who is mathematically gifted," Wu said. "I have no doubt that she has a bright future as a scientist."

A student in the university's Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, Hailey is also a Taylor Medalist and member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi. Her extracurricular activities include serving as president of the campus chapter of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society and as past secretary and treasurer of the Society of Women Engineers. She is the founding secretary of the university's new chapter of Engineers Without Borders.

Hailey has also been a member of Gamma Beta Phi honor society, an Associated Student Body senator and an Ole Miss Ambassador. She was a member of the Pride of the South Marching Band color guard and a volunteer assistant in UM academic competitions.

She is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. William Hailey of Muscle Shoals.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was created in 1986 to honor U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater. The purpose of the program is "to alleviate a critical current and future shortage of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers." The scholarship seeks to encourage talented student researchers in those fields to prepare for and enter careers as research scientists.

Students apply in their sophomore or junior year. The scholarship provides up to $7,500 per remaining undergraduate year to assist with the recipient's tuition, fees, books, and room and board. This year the Goldwater Foundation named 278 scholars from a field of 1,111 applications.

For more information on the Goldwater Scholarships, go to