Artboard 1 apply Artboard 1 copy 2 Mount_Logo_Primary_RGB Mount_Logo_Primary_RGB give Artboard 1 copy 3 info link Mount_Logo_Primary_RGB Artboard 1 Artboard 2 Artboard 1 visit

Three Mount St. Mary’s Students Named Goldwater Scholars

science building feature

Three Mount St. Mary’s University students have been awarded a 2020-21 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the preeminent undergraduate award for students intending to pursue research careers in the fields of natural science, mathematics, and engineering. The three awards represent the most ever received in a single year at the Mount and surpass combined awards over the past 15 years.

Juniors Julia Baer, Bradley Owen and Nicholas Starvaggi are among the 396 U.S. college students to have been selected for the scholarship this year from a pool of more than 1,343 sophomores and juniors nominated by 461 colleges and universities.  They will receive up to $7,500 to cover tuition, fees, books, and room and board.

Veronica Balick, a senior double major in biochemistry and biology, is a 2019-20 Goldwater Scholar. She currently is a semifinalist for the Fulbright United Kingdom Study Award to the University of Nottingham. Sarah Bonson was named an Honorable Mention for the Goldwater in 2016-17, and eight years earlier, Christine Wroge Emnett, Ph.D., C’09, won a Goldwater Scholarship in 2008-09.

Established in 1986 by the U.S. Congress, the Goldwater Scholarship recognizes college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming the nation’s next generation of research leaders in the areas of natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics.

Julia Baer

julia_baer_2-in-text.jpgA chemistry major and biology minor, Baer spent last summer conducting conservation research on the microbiome of blue mussels at the University of Connecticut Avery Point. Her research was sponsored by the National Science Foundation through their Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.

Following her senior year at the Mount, Baer plans to pursue a Ph.D. in marine science with a focus on the study of human toxicological impacts on the marine environment. She is grateful to Evan Ward, Ph.D., and Michael Finiguerra, Ph.D., both from the University of Connecticut, and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Patrick Lombardi, Ph.D., for writing recommendation letters.


Bradley Owen

bradley-owen-in-text.jpgAfter he graduates from the Mount in 2021, Owen plans to pursue a Ph.D. in organic chemistry to become a medicinal chemist who studies the synthesis of small organic compounds. Last summer he gained significant experience by working on pharmaceutical research and development with Abbvie Biopharmaceutical Company through their competitive Experiential Internship Program.

Owen appreciates the letters of recommendation from Tim Hodges, Ph.D., of Abbvie, as well as Associate Professor of Biology Katie Dye, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Isaac Mills, Ph.D., at the Mount.

NicHOLAS Starvaggi

nicholas_starvaggi-in-text.jpgA double major in chemistry and biochemistry, Starvaggi spent last summer working in the NEN-3: International Threat Reduction division at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory under the competitive Summer Undergraduate Laboratory Internship program. A report on his work at Los Alamos, titled An Introduction to Quantum Dots as Scintillating-Radiation Detectors, is available online.

Starvaggi plans to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry with the long-term goal of conducting research to develop a sustainable source of clean, renewable energy. He is grateful to Amanda Graff, Ph.D., from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, as well as Professor and Director of Health Professions Patricia Kreke, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Isaac Mills, Ph.D., at the Mount for writing recommendation letters.

Baer, Owen and Starvaggi were aided in their Goldwater application by the Office of Competitive Fellowships and the Goldwater Scholarship Committee.  The Goldwater Committee, comprised of Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Brian Heinhold, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor of Psychology Angy Kallarackal, Ph.D.; Associate Professor of Chemistry Garth Patterson, Ph.D.; and Associate Professor of History and Director of the Office of Competitive Fellowships Jamie Gianoutsos, Ph.D., provided support for the students’ applications and research essays.

Patterson, Kallarackal and Gianoutsos also are Competitive Fellowships Committee members. Other members of the Competitive Fellowships Committee, led by Gianoutsos, are Christine Blackshaw, Ph.D., competitive fellowships associate director and associate professor of Spanish, and Thane Naberhaus, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy.