Barnard Gets A Gates Scholarship

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Soon she will be frolicking among the colleges, thinkin' 'bout black holes, hummin' some tunes

We’d like to extend some big fat congratulations to Erin Kara, BC ’11, who has just won the Gates scholarship.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, offers full rides to non-UK students for graduate work at the University of Cambridge. The scholarship is awarded based on “intellectual ability, leadership capacity and desire to use their knowledge to contribute to society.”

Hailing from Bethlehem (PA!), Erin majors in Physics with a minor in Art History. In her spare time she researches Active Galactic Nuclei, and hopes to continue research in high-energy astrophysics at Cambridge, focusing on the mysterious accretion disks that physicists believe power black holes. Erin will pursue an MPhil in Physics from the Institute of Astronomy there, which she plans on following up with a PhD in physics, with a view to a career in research and teaching.

She may be more familiar to you as the music director of Uptown Vocal, a jazz a cappella group on campus, who perform new arrangements of classic standards. She adds that they have a concert on campus next Wednesday evening with a British all-male group (aww!). We wish her the very best of luck next year!

Image via Wikimedia

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  1. WAY TO GO!!!!


    So proud to be a Barnard woman! Good luck next year!

  2. OMG  

    She studies astrophysics, art history, and she sings? This girl's got it all.

    Erin, you resonate my natural frequency. I am now approaching the singularity. Somebody save me.

  3. She's also  

    stunningly beautiful.

  4. consumed by inferiority complex  

    quite proud of her

  5. CC '17  

    Fuckin' Barnard hoes taking scholarships from Columbia kids.

  6. Is it weird  

    that I find girls who do science universally incredibly sexy?

    Bwog, I have a sickness.

  7. great job barnard  

    it only took you 150 years.

  8. Columbia Student  

    Can I start saying I go to Barnard now?

  9. Thats...  

    a long way to go to get a good education. Does she know Columbia's right across the street?

  10. troll  

    the gates website lists her school as 'columbia univ'. discuss

  11. CU Student

    Erin is clearly 100 times smarter, more motivated, and creative than me, a Columbia student. It's probably not a stretch to say she's ten times hotter too.

  12. congrats!  

    Erin is amazing, and in every way deserves this! Way to go!

  13. Anonymous  

    Barnard has a Physics Major? I thought they only had dance, english, polisci, and women's studies?

  14. Anonymous

    Any Barnard bashing in this case, or any scenario, is unfounded. Even if it is a bit easier to get in, it's still an incredibly competitive school and has some really amazing women. The Gates Competition is very fierce...Columbia College doesn't get many winners and it has more than 3x the students that Barnard has for each class. Everyone should be very proud of Erin's accomplishment.

    I also am a Columbia College alum and I have never met Erin but from her profile, she sounds extremely accomplished and impressive.

  15. how many monies?

    can i have some?

  16. Umm....  

    Can we just say congratulations and not get into politics? Geez.

  17. Just to make it clear  

    I wrote some of that bashing and it's totally just for fun. I know that Erin is a fantastic girl and she can surely take a good Barnard joke. :)

    Go Erin!!

  18. ah  

    yall trolls are fucking jokes always bringing up what school you go to just to indulge in your worthless selves. This girl is clearly smarter and more talented than most of us at columbia, and regardless of where she attends, she is getting shit done! what are you doing?
    congrats to her!

  19. Anonymous  


  20. Old Timer

    Actually this headline is not true. Julia Moses, BC '01, a Cambridge Ph.D. in history, and currently a historian at Oxford, was a Gates Scholar as well, and she may actually have the title of being Barnard's first (although I'm not sure of this).

    But what does it matter. Hearty congratulations to Barnard's most recent Scholar.

  21. Anonymous

    jess cooney is also a gates scholar, grad from barnard.

  22. Erin Kara  

    Hey everyone, thanks for all the nice comments (most of them nice, anyway...what's with all the Barnard bashing?!) I just wanted to make one correction...the bio is a bit out of date. Our current music director for Uptown Vocal is Cecelia Lie (BC'11). She's been doing a great job, and the whole group is about our upcoming concert on Wednesday with "All the King's Men" from London. Thanks!

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