Prestigious Physics Scholarship Awarded to Maroon

Jake Bennett won the $10,000 Rossing scholarship

The research opportunities Roanoke College offers its students helped Jake Bennett '08 win an inaugural Rossing Physics Scholarship through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

During his sophomore year, Bennett, a physics and mathematics double major from Lexington, Va., was one of three students nationwide to win the prestigious $10,000 Rossing scholarship for the 2005-2006 academic year.

A junior and senior from among the 28 other ELCA colleges and universities were also awarded this scholarship, which pays for educational expenses and is renewable until the students complete their undergraduate physics work.

"I was stunned," Bennett says. "I really didn't think I had that good of a chance to win."

With the money from the Rossing scholarship, Bennett has paid for room and board at the College and bought textbooks this year. He hopes to pay off student loans and do an IL travel course with the scholarship money he'll get in the coming years.

Bennett credits the research opportunities he has gained at Roanoke College for putting him ahead of the pack in the competition for the Rossing scholarship. "The faculty members are very focused on getting students undergraduate research opportunities," Bennett says.

As a Summer Scholar in 2005, Bennett did research on the mathematics of a tennis serve. Bennett also has gained hands-on experience in his work as a lab assistant for the physics department.

Bennett says Roanoke's research opportunities, like the Summer Scholars program, give students "a good way to get exposed to research…and get a good feel for what research is like."