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David Bauer named a 2009 Rhodes Scholar.

David L.V. Bauer, a senior chemistry major in the Macaulay Honors College at The City College of New York (CCNY), has been named a 2009 Rhodes Scholar – one of only 32 across the United States.
Dear Member of the CCNY Community:

I expect many of you have heard our great news already, but I am both proud and enormously pleased that David L.V. Bauer, a senior chemistry major in the Macaulay Honors College at The City College of New York (CCNY), has been named a 2009 Rhodes Scholar – one of only 32 across the United States.

You probably first remember coming across David’s name when he won the Intel Science Talent Search in 2005 while a senior at Hunter College High School. For his winning project, he used quantum dots to design a sensor to detect nerve gas exposure for first responders, and he conducted his research in a laboratory at City College. Although he could have gone on to college anywhere in the United States, he chose to come to CCNY, and joined us in the fall of 2005.

David’s academic career at CCNY has been stellar. He won a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in 2007 and a Harry S. Truman Scholarship for Public Service earlier this year. He spent much of his junior year doing research at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, where he created a computer program to analyze raw data from a new DNA sequencing approach that is now being using to analyze genetic changes related to cystic fibrosis and other diseases.

At CCNY, he conducted organic chemistry research towards the synthesis of aspirin analogues to explore aspirin's anti-cancer properties. He also worked on the synthesis of difluoroaldehydes, compounds designed to trigger specific scent receptors, as part of a larger project to understand how the sense of smell works. His extracurricular activities at the College include vice president, president and co-president of the Baskerville Chemistry Society; chemistry workshop recitation instruction, and anchor for CUNY-TV’s “Study With the Best” series. And he has maintained a 3.99 GPA!

What sets David apart from scores of truly exceptionally smart students, however, is the generosity of his intelligence. At a really very young age, he is dedicated to the idea that acquiring knowledge is not enough; the responsibility of a true scholar is to share that knowledge to the benefit of everyone who can benefit from it. I believe that David combines the keen focus and ability of a research scientist with the breadth of vision and the commitment to personal action that will make him a leader among leaders.

This is a mighty combination, and David embodies it with ease and humility. It’s why he was chosen by his fellow Intel peers to receive the Seaborg Award for his “commitment to scientific cooperation and communication.” It’s why he is a published op-editorialist in publications like BusinessWeek, where he urged our society to provide girls the opportunities and rewards to excel in science, and why he serves on the Board of Directors of the Creativity Foundation and as a United Kingdom Science and Engineering Ambassador. It’s why he built a website to provide information and analysis for the Liberian Diaspora, struggling to rebuild after a terrible civil war. I think he will be one of the most compelling voices of his generation for the use of science for the public good.

And I’m sure that you all know that David is the second CCNY student awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in the past four years! In 2004, Lev Sviridov, ’05, also a chemistry major, won the Rhodes. Lev is a good friend to David (and – obviously – the perfect person to help him prep for the interview.)

These two students both represent and articulate the great democratic promise of The City College of New York. I know that you are – as I am – enormously proud of their accomplishments, and proud to call them true sons of City College.

Gregory H. Williams