Three students awarded Goldwater Scholarships for excellence in science and math

Three Yale juniors are among 240 individuals who have been awarded the Goldwater Scholarship, which is given to sophomores or juniors in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields who demonstrate excellence and potential to have a lasting career.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation announced the awardees and approximately 300 honorable mentions for the 2017 Goldwater scholarship last week. The awardees were selected from a pool of 1,286 applicants from 470 institutions. The Goldwater scholarship is one of the oldest and most prestigious undergraduate awards for STEM students.

The Yale awardees are Alexander Epstein of Saybrook College, Colin Hemez of Ezra Stiles College, and Andrew Saydjari of Timothy Dwight College.

Epstein is a chemistry and molecular, cellular, and developmental biology double-major who started conducting research in high school. He does research in the lab of Dr. Thomas Pollard, Sterling Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Development Biology, and is a peer tutor. He is a Beckman scholar and the elementary curriculum coordinator for the MathCounts Outreach program. He plans to earn a Ph.D. and pursue a university research career.

Hemez is a biomedical engineering and history of art double-major whose first research experience was with the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He conducts research in the laboratory of Dr. Farren Isaacs, assistant professor of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, and is an intern at the Yale University Art Gallery. He is a staff writer for the Yale Global Health Review and a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society. He plans to devote his career to fighting infectious diseases through engineering and synthetic biology.

Saydjari is a chemistry major on track to complete both a B.S. in math and an M.S. in chemistry. His first research experience was at the U.S. Naval Research Lab, and he currently conducts research in the laboratory of Dr. Nilay Hazari, professor of chemistry. He plans to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry and obtain a faculty position at a major research university.

An accredited four-year institution may nominate four students for the Goldberg Scholarship. In the past decade, Yale has nominated 40 students for the award and had 23 winners of the Goldwater scholarship and 10 honorable mentions. 

Students interested in the Goldwater may seek advice from the Office of Fellowships Programs in the Center for International and Professional Experience. The annual process opens every September with deadlines in mid-November.

The Goldwater foundation was created in 1986 to act upon the vision of Senator Barry Goldwater and his interest in assuring that the United States continued to produce top scientists and researchers. Since its first award in 1989, the foundation has awarded approximately $63 million through a combined 7,921 scholarships.

For more information about the Goldwater scholarship, visit the website.