"It's unusual for sophomores to receive the award, primarily because of the emphasis on research experience," says Phil Lockett, associate professor of physics at Centre who assisted Stefater as the Goldwater faculty representative.
"But Tony has already done research at the University of Louisville and Stanford University, and his letters of recommendation were excellent."
Stefater did his first research project as a sophomore at Manual High School. Last year he did summer research at the Stanford Molecular Trauma Surgery lab. This summer he1ll conduct research at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.
"I'm naturally drawn to the challenge of science," he says. "You can view everything as a problem to be solved."
Stefater is involved in many activities at Centre. He's played piano in the CentreJazz Band; is a staff writer for The Cento, Centre's student newspaper; and is a member of the Colonel Corps, student volunteers who assist the admission office by conducting campus tours as well as hosting lunches and overnight stays for prospective students.
Stefater is extremely pleased with his decision to attend Centre.
"I applied to Centre because it's the best school in the state," he says. "I was also considering bigger out-of-state schools. I went to visit Duke and sat in on a class with 350 students. When I visited Centre I sat in on a class with five students. I figured I was going to pay a lot less and get a better education at Centre.
"The best thing about Centre is the interaction you have with professors."
The federally endowed Goldwater Foundation/Excellence in Education Foundation was established in 1986. The award honors the late Barry Goldwater, who served in the U.S. Senate for many years.