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Three undergraduates receive Goldwater Scholarships for science achievement

May 18, 2021
Blue, black, and yellow illustration of the three Goldberg Scholarship recipients along with the Goldwater Scholarship and Foundation logo.(l to r) The University of Rochester’s 2021–22 Goldwater Scholarship recipients are Tyrone Nieves ’22, Jocelyn Mathew ’23, Kaelyn McFarlane-Connelly ’22.(University of Rochester illustration / Michael Osadciw)

The highly competitive honor supports college students planning research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

Three University of Rochester undergraduates have received the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, awarded to high-achieving science majors who are US citizens. They are among 409 college students chosen this year from a pool of more than 5,000 college sophomores and juniors.

The scholarships are awarded by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, established by Congress in 1986 and endowed with federal funds to encourage the nation’s most outstanding college students to pursue research careers in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

Each scholar will receive up to $7,500 to help cover tuition, room and board, books, and mandatory fees. Scholars who receive the award as sophomores will receive support for a maximum of two years, while juniors will receive support for one year.

“With three outstanding students chosen as Goldwater Scholars this year, the University of Rochester continues an excellent record of attracting talented students in various STEM fields,” says Cheeptip Benyajati, an associate professor in the Department of Biology who serves on the University’s interdisciplinary STEM faculty committee. “It shows Rochester’s commitment to research in STEM fields, and our success in mentoring and engaging young scientists to continue the pipeline.”

Rochester’s 2021–22 Goldwater Scholarship recipients

Jocelyn Mathew ’23

A molecular genetics major from Ellicott City, Maryland, Mathew is a Rochester Early Medical Scholars (REMS) student and has conducted research on tumor immunology in human pancreatic cancer in the lab of Scott Gerber, co-director of the Center for Tumor Immunology Research at the Medical Center. She plans a career as a physician-scientist with a focus on cancer biology.

Kaelyn McFarlane-Connelly ’22

A chemistry major from Palo Alto, California, McFarlane-Connelly began conducting research in quantum mechanics in the lab of Todd Krauss, a professor of chemistry and of optics, in 2019 and already has completed graduate-level courses in chemistry. She plans to pursue a PhD in chemistry with a focus on nanomaterials, followed by a career in university teaching and research in the applications of nanomaterials.

Tyrone Nieves ’22

A biology major from Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, Nieves has worked in designed oxidative stress experiments in the lab of Andrew Wojtovich, an assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at the Medical Center. He is also a recipient of the Continuing Student Scholarship, a merit-based award for outstanding current University undergraduates. He plans to pursue a clinical practice degree and pursue a university teaching and research career in pharmacology.

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