Three high-achieving juniors win Goldwater Scholarships for work in STEM

Three Yale juniors — Emma Levin, Eric Sun, and Hamilton Wan — are among the 417 students across the nation who have been awarded the scholarship for 2022–2023.
Wan Hamilton, Emma Levin, and Eric Sun

Wan Hamilton, Emma Levin, and Eric Sun

Three Yale juniors — Emma Levin, Eric Sun, and Hamilton Wan — are among the 417 students across the nation who have been awarded Goldwater Scholarships for the 2022-2023 academic year. The scholarships, named in honor of the late U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater, encourage students to pursue research careers in the fields of natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics.

The Goldwater Scholarships are supported by the Goldwater Foundation and by an ongoing partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense National Defense Education Programs (NDEP).

The Yale awardees were selected from a pool of over 5,000 college sophomores and juniors who were nominated by 433 academic institutions. Virtually all of the winning applicants intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their highest degree objective. Many have already published their research in leading professional journals and have presented their work at scholarly conferences.

We are delighted for Eric, Emma, and Hamilton,” said Rebekah Westphal, assistant dean of Yale College and director of the Office of Fellowship Programs. “The Goldwater Scholarship is a wonderful way to recognize real strength in STEM fields in the sophomore or junior year.”

Emma Levin, of Benjamin Franklin College, is studying applied mathematics with a concentration in Earth and planetary sciences. She will also graduate with a certificate in energy studies. She conducts research on hurricanes and climate change with faculty members Alexey Federov and Joshua Studholme in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. She is a research assistant for the Yale Carbon Offsets Program and Carbon Containment Lab, volunteers for the Kitchen to Kitchen student-run food delivery project, and is active in the Slifka Center for Jewish Life. She has also been elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In addition to her Yale research, she conducted research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and Jupiter Intelligence.

Eric Sun, of Pauli Murray College, is double majoring in molecular biophysics and biochemistry and data science. He has conducted research in DNA damage repair, epigenetics, and drug resistance in cancer. He is a peer tutor for the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, a representative on the student advisory committee for the Department of Statistics and Data Science, and a member of the student advisory committee on science and quantitative reasoning. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in genetics or cancer biology.

Hamilton Wan, of Silliman College, is majoring in mathematics. He has conducted research in dynamical systems, focusing on the study of translation surfaces. He is on the board of the Yale Undergraduate Math Society and previously served as its co-president. He is also a member of the math department’s student advisory committee and works as an undergraduate learning assistant in the department. In his free time, he enjoys playing the piano. He plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in mathematics.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established in 1986. The scholarship program is considered the preeminent undergraduate award of its type in the STEM fields.

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