For three distinguished Yale juniors, next year just became more affordable.

David Johnson ’04, Brian Lehmann ’04 and Doris Wang ’04 were all awarded prestigious Goldwater Scholarships last Friday in recognition of their achievements. The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program, which Congress established in 1986 to honor the former U.S. senator, awards scholarships to highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers who intend to pursue careers in their fields of study. Worth a maximum of $7,500, each of the 300 annual scholarships is funded by a U.S. Treasury trust fund. It is assumed that the award recipients will go on to pursue advanced degrees in their fields.

Johnson, a physics major, has conducted research on vibration isolation. He is a member of Team Lux, where he researches solar vehicles, and is also a part-time member of the Yale cycling team. Johnson said he hopes to obtain a doctorate in physics one day and conduct research in methods of propulsion, in particular those pertaining to human space travel. Johnson said the scholarship was a welcome surprise.

“I was pretty excited,” Johnson said. “It was a shot in the dark to begin with. It was pretty unexpected.”

Wang, a molecular, cellular and developmental biology major, has conducted research with stem cells in mammalian brains at the Yale Medical School neurosurgery lab since the summer after her freshman year. She is also a tutor and a member of the Tae Kwon Do team. Wang said she was excited about the research and pointed out its possible future benefits.

“It has a lot of potential for future therapy for various diseases and ailments,” Wang said.

When asked how she felt upon hearing her selection for the scholarship, Wang emphasized her appreciation.

“I felt very honored and very fortunate to have received the award,” Wang said.

Lehmann, a mathematics major, has conducted research at the University of Washington on the inverse discrete problem, in which he attempted to determine theoretically the inner workings of a circuit through observations of its exterior. In addition to research, Lehmann said he dedicates much of his time to Christian groups on campus, in particular Yale Students for Christ. He said he was delighted to win the scholarship.

“It was pretty exciting. It helps my family out financially,” Lehmann said. “It’s God’s hand at work. I really was fortunate.”

Linda DeLaurentis, the fellowship advisor at the International Education and Fellowship Program Office, pointed to the large applicant pool as an indication of the competitive nature of the award.

“The whole applicant group was really quite distinguished,” DeLaurentis said. “We’re very proud of their accomplishments. To be selected is really quite a distinction.”