Drake University student Paige Diamond is a 2015-2016 recipient of the Goldwater Foundation Scholarship, a prestigious award for students pursuing careers in the fields of mathematics, natural sciences, and engineering. Diamond, who is a junior chemistry and BCMB major, was selected from more than 1,200 students nominated nationwide.
“I am honored and humbled to be a recipient of the 2015-2016 Barry Goldwater scholarship,” said Diamond. “To be recognized with such a prestigious award for research potential is extremely rewarding and reaffirms the passion and aspirations I have for future research in the field of biochemistry. The award should also serve as a testament to the quality of the program and professors at Drake University and their commitment to academic excellence.”
The U.S. Congress established the Goldwater Foundation Scholarship in 1986 in honor of Senator Barry M. Goldwater. The scholarship was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, natural sciences, and engineering. Diamond will receive $7,500 for the 2015-2016 academic year.
“I am so excited for Paige to receive this nationally prestigious and highly competitive scholarship,” said Gholam Mirafzal, professor of chemistry at Drake University and faculty representative for the Goldwater Scholarship. “Paige worked in my research laboratory for a year and is planning to conduct additional research this coming summer at the UCI Berkeley. She is a great researcher and is a well-rounded student with an outstanding record of accomplishments with his classes, research, extracurricular activities, and community service.”
In addition, students Joshua Cain, a junior Psychology major, and Joel Venzke, a triple major in math, physics, and computer science, made honorable mentions for the 2015-2016 Goldwater scholarships.
“(Joel and Joshua’s) applications came very close to being selected and they should be very proud of being among the 2015-2016 Goldwater honorable mentions,” Mirafzal said. “Each student will be an excellent scientist who will contribute greatly to their respective fields of study.”
Mirafzal works closely with student candidates on their award applications and supports them in their research efforts.
Universities are allowed to nominate up to four undergraduate students for the Goldwater Foundation Scholarship each year. The application process is highly competitive, and the award is widely considered the most prestigious of its kind in the nation.