Four seniors, one alumnus receive Gates Cambridge Scholarships

Princeton NJ -- Four Princeton seniors and one recent graduate have been awarded Gates Cambridge Scholarships to study at the University of Cambridge in England next year.

They are: Nathan Arrington of Westport, Conn.; Louis Ballezzi of Havertown, Pa.; Nicole Basta of New Kensington, Pa.; Ryan Brandau of North Canton, Ohio; and Adam Nebesar of Canaan, N.Y.

Established in 2001, the Gates scholarships are funded through a $210 million donation to the University of Cambridge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They provide up to four years of support for students, who must have a bachelor's degree, to pursue further education at the university. The awards are intended for scholars of outstanding academic merit and leadership potential from countries other than the United Kingdom. From 80 to 110 scholarships are awarded each year.

Arrington plans to use the Gates scholarship to pursue two one-year M.Phil. degrees at Cambridge: one in classical archaeology and one in archaeological science. His first master's thesis will be on glyptology -- engraved gems -- and the ancient economy. Arrington is particularly interested in trade patterns, the use of gems in economic systems and the relationship of gems to coins.
    After Cambridge, Arrington intends to earn a doctorate in the United States and teach at the university level while pursuing archaeological excavation. He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton in 2002 with a bach-elor's degree in art and archaeology. His senior thesis, "Death and Democracy: The Evolution in the Icon- ography of the Defeated Greek, ca. 600-390 B.C.," won the Stella and Rensselaer W. Lee Prize.

Ballezzi plans to earn a master's degree in the BioScience Enterprise Program at Cambridge. Started in 2002, the program focuses on biology, law and business as related to the field of biotechnology. After Cambridge, Ballezzi intends to go to law school and possibly work in science law, policy or biotechnology.
    A molecular biology major, Ballezzi completed a senior thesis on bioinformatics. Working in Professor Ihor Lemischka's lab, he examined gene expression profiles of hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem cells in the hopes of defining a molecular signature for these cells.

Basta will graduate with a bachelor's degree in ecology and evolutionary biology. She intends to study for an M.Phil. in epidemiology at Cambridge, after which she hopes to continue toward a Ph.D. in pathology or zoology. Ultimately, she plans to pursue a career as a field epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control or the World Health Organization, traveling to outbreak areas and implementing public health initiatives.
    Basta's research interests were affirmed in spring 2002 when she studied in Panama with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Princeton Field Study Program. She returned to Panama last summer to work on her senior thesis on the seasonality of malaria in the clay-colored robin.

Brandau will graduate with a bachelor's degree in music and with certificates in music performance (conducting) and in gender studies. He intends to pursue an M.Phil. in musicology at Cambridge, focusing on the vocal music of Restoration England in light of the religious, political and social concerns of the period.
    Brandau wrote a senior thesis exploring the classical figure of Dido as rendered by Tate and Purcell in their opera "Dido and Aeneas." Aspiring to be a musicologist, he plans to continue study toward a doctorate, while complementing his research with work as a professional choral conductor.

Nebesar will use the Gates scholarship to pursue an M.Phil. in economics at Cambridge, possibly staying on for a Ph.D. He will receive a bachelor's degree in economics and certificates in finance and political economy and applied and computational mathematics.
    Nebesar's senior thesis attempts to model the effects of oil shocks on the U.S. economy and to find ways to gauge the potential impact of a war with Iraq.


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