- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
He was selected one of 283 scholars nationwide to receive a federally funded Goldwater scholarship from among 1,166 applicants.
The applicants were nominated by faculty from their college. Of the 283, men comprise 172 and women, 111. Virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their degree objective, a Goldwater program spokesman said. Twenty-two scholars are mathematics majors, 191 are science and related majors, 63 are majoring in engineering, and 7 are computer science majors. Many of the scholars have dual majors in a variety of mathematics, science, engineering, and computer disciplines.
The scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500.
Forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey, who serves as the master advisor of the animal biology program at UC Davis, encompassing some 400 students, recalled that Magee initially considered a career in veterinary medicine because he didn't think he could succeed in biological sciences.
"He told me he wanted to be a veterinarian because he did not think he was good enough to do biological research," Kimsey said. Kimsey assured him he indeed could.
Keenly interested in evolution and ecology, Magee studies and researches statistical phylogenetics — estimates of the evolutionary relationships among species. He plans to pursue a doctorate in evolutionary biology and conduct research and teach at the university level.
At UC Davis, Magee holds a prestigious Regent's Scholarship and participates in the University Honors Program. He has worked on three research projects and is now investigating the phenomenon of declining rates at which lineages diversify through time.
The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program honors the late U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, who served 30 years in the U.S. Senate. Congress established the program in 1986 "to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue research careers in these fields."
Since its first award in 1989, the foundation has awarded 7,163 scholarships worth approximately $46 million. Since its first award in 1989, the foundation has bestowed 7,163 scholarships worth approximately $46 million.
Students interested in the Goldwater scholarship should apply to the UC Davis Undergraduate and Prestigious Scholarship Office by November 2014. The office assists high-achieving students to apply for national and international scholarships.
(UC Davis Dateline contributed to this report.)