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Updated 10:00 AM April 11, 2005




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Student wins prestigious Churchill Scholarship

LSA senior Christopher Hayward from Shelby Township, Mich., has been selected as one of only 11 students in the country to receive a prestigious Churchill Scholarship for the 2005-06 academic year.
Photo by David Roberts Photography

Hayward, who studies mathematics, physics and astronomy, will attend Churchill College at Cambridge University. He plans to take courses in applied mathematics and theoretical physics.

"My specific choices are courses in quantum field theory, general relativity and cosmology. I'm particularly interested in studying ideas related to black holes," Hayward says. "Stephen Hawkings' book 'A Brief History of Time,' which I read in high school, played a big role in my decision to pursue a career in science," he said. "I hope to run into him while I'm there."

The Churchill Scholarship is sponsored by the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States to encourage the exchange of knowledge and the sharing of ideas in science and technology between the United States and Great Britain. It covers full tuition and fees, and a substantial allowance for living and travel expenses. Depending on the field of study and rate of exchange, the value of a Churchill Scholarship is approximately $31,000 to $36,000, according to the foundation.

Following his year at Cambridge, Hayward plans to return to the United States for graduate school to earn his doctoral degree and become a professor.

"I want to do research, of course, but I am excited by teaching and the opportunity of sharing the knowledge I've gained with others," Hayward says.

This is the first time in many years that a U-M student has won this award, says Elleanor Crown, scholarship coordinator and senior advisor of the LSA Honors Program.

"Chris has been a joy to work with since his summer orientation in 2001," Crown says. "His intellectual curiosity and admirable work ethic have served him well and made it possible for him to get the maximum possible benefits from his undergraduate education."

What distinguishes the Churchill competition from most of the prestigious awards for graduate study in Great Britain is that it requires the submission of Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, both generals and subject tests, Crown says.

Students interested in the scholarship need to take the graduate exam by spring of their junior year and many science students—even the high-achieving ones—are not ready for GREs at the end of third year. That limits the number of potential candidates for the award, Crown says.

U-M nominees are chosen by the Science Scholarship Committee, chaired by Biology Professor Emeritus David G. Shappirio.

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