Four Northwestern University undergraduate scholars have been awarded the 2022 Barry Goldwater Fellowship, an honor that supports students who intend to pursue careers in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering.
As Goldwater Scholars, Carina Biar, Thomas Douglas, Sarah Sobol, and Anthony Tam represent the scientific talent essential to ensuring the United States maintains its global competitiveness and security, according to the Department of National Defense Education Programs. defense.
A total of 417 Goldwater Scholars were chosen this year on the basis of academic merit from a pool of more than 1,200 natural science, engineering, and math students nominated by institutional representatives from 433 colleges and universities nationwide.
At Northwestern, the news is remarkable since each university is allowed to submit a maximum of four students each year for the national competition.
“It is a great honor to have our four nominees named Goldwater Scholars this year,” said LaTanya Veronica Williams, Associate Director of STEM at the Office of Scholarships. “As a representative of the Goldwater campus, I worked extensively with each candidate and helped them shape their applications. Each demonstrates the spirit of excellence in academics and research found in all North West students.
Carina Biar’s family helped her follow her current educational path. His older brother, an aspiring computer scientist, encouraged him to take a course on the subject in elementary school. And then she witnessed her grandparents’ Parkinson’s disease, which fueled her desire to study the brain. As a student at Northwestern, she works in the laboratory of Gemma Carvilleassistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, researching epilepsy.
“I am extremely grateful to the mentors who encouraged me to consider Goldwater’s candidacy as an opportunity to reflect,” she said. “I will soon be pursuing graduate studies where I hope to continue studying neuroscience and genomics.”
Thomas Douglas found his niche in science as a seventh-grade student at Whitney Young High School in Chicago. Physics came easily to him and his passion was ignited when he discovered that the world around him could be explained by principles of physics which, in turn, helped him better understand the mechanisms of its second passion: playing the guitar. At Northwestern, he joined the laboratory of Matthew Grayson, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at McCormick. He will be researching qubit measurement and characterization at Fermilab this summer as an intern at the Center for Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems.
“Goldwater’s application process has made me appreciate the support of my research mentors and my guidance which facilitates my progress,” he said. “I hope to use this award to continue my research into quantum technologies and find ways to leverage advances to improve the lives of others.”
Growing up, Sarah Sobol had a gift for dance, theater and the choir. She first showed an affinity for math as an elementary school student in advanced math classes, solving algebraic equations with chess pieces. She came to Northwestern as a Murphy Fellow at the McCormick School of Engineering, tackling Chicago River cleanup projects and helping stroke patients get around. In 2020, she joined the laboratory of Michael Jewettprofessor of chemical and biological engineering at McCormick, where she studies glycosylation, an important secondary protein processing mechanism in cells.
“Going through the Goldwater process helped confirm my passion for research,” she said. “I hope to continue to pursue my research in synthetic biology to help impact the world around me.”
As an elementary school student, Anthony Tam enjoyed playing with Legos and putting together little things, which naturally led to his love for the molecular world. In high school, he participated in the American Chemistry Olympiad and the Science Olympiad. He entered Northwestern as a QuestBridge Scholar and, as a first-generation student, joined the Integrated Science program. He works in the laboratory of Karl Scheidtprofessor of chemistry at Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, where he studies telomerase in cancer.
“I am honored to have been awarded the Goldwater Fellowship,” he said. “With this funding, I will be able to complete my undergraduate career without financial burden. And it opens the doors to future graduate programs, for which I am extremely grateful.
The scholarship program honors the late Senator Barry Goldwater and is considered the most significant undergraduate award of its kind in these fields.
Learn more about the Goldwater Fellowship by contacting Northwestern’s Scholarship Office.