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Three Students Recognized by Goldwater Foundation
With a background in intensive research experiences and a Ph.D. in their sights for the future, three students in the College of Arts and Sciences have been recognized by a prestigious, highly competitive national scholarship foundation.
Tyler Smith ’16, Alec Beaton ’16 and Samantha Usman ’16 were acknowledged for their academic achievements by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.
Smith ’16, a biochemistry major, was awarded a Goldwater Scholarship, and Beaton ’16, a chemistry major, and Usman ’16, a physics and mathematics major, won Goldwater Honorable Mentions.
The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation awarded 260 scholarships for the 2015–2016 academic year to undergraduate sophomores and juniors from across the country.
The one- and two-year scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,206 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.
The students underwent an application process through the University’s internal Goldwater Selection Committee, chaired by Meredith Professor Jim Spencer, before a review by the Goldwater Foundation committee.
“This is truly a remarkable group of young scientists and among the most accomplished students at Syracuse University,” says Spencer, a professor of chemistry.
“Besides exceptional classroom achievement, which include GPAs around 3.9, each of these young scholars has pursued research projects at the cutting edge of their fields,” he says. “Their work ranges from new discoveries and advances in neuroscience and organic reaction processes to understanding the effects of gravitational waves on stars. These outstanding students will certainly help to lead their fields in the future.”
The students all have faculty mentors who also assisted them in the process. Smith’s research mentor is Ivan Korendovych, assistant professor of chemistry; Beaton is mentored by chemistry Professor Daniel Clark, assistant professor of chemistry; and Usman is mentored by Duncan Brown, associate professor of physics.
Smith plans to pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry and conduct research into the roles and properties of amyloid plaques in neurodegenerative diseases.
Beaton plans to pursue a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, conduct research in organometallic chemistry and teach at the university level.
Usman’s career goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics, conduct gravitational-wave research and teach at a research university.
Students are also aided in their pursuit of scholarships, such as the Goldwater Scholarship, by the work of the University’s Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising.
“We had an impressive pool of internal candidates this year, so I’m proud of all the students who applied for the award,” says Kate Hanson, CFSA co-director and assistant director of scholarship and fellowship preparation in the Renée Crown University Honors Program. “We are appreciative of their hard work in putting together strong applications—and are also especially grateful for the dedication of their faculty research mentors. The support and guidance of faculty mentors is absolutely essential for our students’ success.”
The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established on November 14, 1986. The scholarship program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.