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Email: denisee@uidaho.edu

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Contact Debbie Caudle
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Fax: (208) 282-7929
Email: debrac@uidaho.edu

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Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402

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Engineering Outreach
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Jacob Bow karate demonstration

Keeping Centered: Bow Balances Work and Play at University

by Amanda Cairo

From his early days in Gooding, Idaho, when Power Rangers were the epitome of cool to studying chemical engineering at the University of Idaho, one thing has kept National Merit Scholar Jacob Bow centered: karate.

“I’ve always enjoyed school, but the University offers great opportunities to help you enjoy your time on campus,” says Bow, a junior. “I really like the connection between the University and the city. There’s a great sense of community.”

In between his math and chemical engineering majors and fencing, University Honors Program activities and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Bow saves time for two University karate clubs that feature Wado-ryu and Kyokushin styles of karate.

While activities outside the classroom help keep Bow balanced as a student, it was the institution’s academics and the chemical engineering department’s reputation that drew him to the University.

“I’ve always been a curious person, I like learning and I ask a lot of questions … With chemical engineering, there’s a sense of doing something to proactively benefit people,” says Bow. “The department had a good reputation, but after talking with staff and faculty, I continue to be impressed.“

It’s not just the department that has had an impact on Bow; other departments and faculty also have made an impact. In his first year at the University, he began research and mapping Saturn’s moon Titan with physics assistant professor Jason Barnes, and is in the process of publishing an article with chemical engineering associate professor Eric Aston regarding research on nanomechanics.

“I know I’m getting research opportunities that I probably wouldn’t get other places,” says Bow. “It’s easy to connect with professors, not only for research but for academics, advising and life. I’ve had a lot of good discussions with some of my professors.”

While his natural curiosity drew Bow to chemical engineering -- a good mix between his two favorite subjects of physics and chemistry -- he considered adding physics as a second major. But, as he began getting settled into his class schedule, he added math as his second major. It’s another subject he enjoys, and it’s been a fun challenge.

As an outstanding science student, Bow has had the opportunity to be part of the University’s Honors program. He enjoys the academic challenges, but also appreciates the camaraderie, discussions and Sunday night bridge games.

“I really like to hang out and talking with like-minded people who are interested in the same things I am,” says Bow. “We’ve had some great conversations over bridge.”

Bow has become adept at balancing academics and extra-curricular activities. His most recent opportunity to test that is with the new company he keeps: he is one of three Idaho students recognized as a 2011 Goldwater Scholar. This elite group – only 300 scholars in the nation this year – selected by the Goldwater Foundation, seeks students in mathematics or the sciences, who display intellectual curiosity and intensity and possesses potential for significant future contributions in their chosen field.

“This has been really exciting for me,” says Bow. “I definitely owe a lot to the opportunities I’ve had here at University of Idaho”