Seniors Receive Full-Tuition Science Scholarships

Kate Nicastri ’17 and Sarah Tymochko ’17 received the 2016 Clare Boothe Luce Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to two women entering their fourth year at the College and majoring in the physical sciences, which include mathematics, computer science, physics and chemistry. The scholarship covers tuition and fees and also includes paid research fellowships during the summer prior to senior year.

During the 2016-17 academic year, Nicastri, a chemistry major from Yorktown Heights, New York, will continue her research on the synthesis of bovidic acid, a naturally occurring anti-insecticidal agent found in the skin of the Bos frontalis, a southeast Asian bovine. Nicastri impressed the scholarship selection committee with her dedication to scientific discovery, her work ethic and her enthusiasm for getting other students involved in the physical sciences, which she does through a program at Girls, Inc. in Worcester.

“We’re getting the girls directly involved with scientific experiments and are also trying to offer them advice about our experience as women in science,” says Nicastri. “My goal is to impart upon women and girls the same excitement I have for all types of science and technology.”

Tymochko, a mathematics major and computer science minor from North Hampton, New Hampshire, will continue her research in the field of topology, conducting topological data analysis of vasculature in the retina. The research aims to develop new methods of detecting tortuosity of vessels in the retina that can be used to screen for diseases such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy; it will also serve as the topic for Tymochko’s mathematics honors thesis.

“Being awarded this scholarship has furthered my determination to achieve this goal as well as to inspire other women to discover their passion for mathematics,” says Tymochko. “I am honored to have been selected for this scholarship and am excited for the opportunities it will bring me.”

Last year, Holy Cross received its second major grant from the Henry Luce Foundation in the amount of $218,722 to continue the competitive Clare Boothe Luce Program at the College, providing scholarships to women in the classes of 2017 through 2019.  ■

—Evangelia Stefanakos ’14