(March 29, 2024) Three Oregon State University undergraduate students have been named 2024 Goldwater Scholars by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in the fields of the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics. The Goldwater Scholarship is the preeminent undergraduate award of its type in these fields. OSU’s Goldwater Scholars for 2024 are:

Madalyn Gragg, Wamic, OR

Field of Study: Materials Research

Majors: Honors Mechanical Engineering, Physics

Year: Junior

Career Goal: Ph.D. in Chemical Physics with a focus on characterizing organic and inorganic photonic materials. Madalyn aspires to discover novel physical properties within optoelectronic materials in the hope to produce environmentally friendly and affordable electronics.

Mentors: Matthew Graham, Oksana Ostroverkhova, Paul Emigh

Jose Naranjo Mendez, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Field of Study: Engineering

Majors: Chemical Engineering, Bioresource Research

Year: Junior

Career Goal: Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. With his degree, Jose plans to research alternative options for plastic recycling that use sustainable sources, reduce carbon emissions, and improve efficiency.

Mentors: Lucas Ellis, Charlie Beckers, Wanda Crannell

Roberto Ponce Velez, Silverton, OR

Field of Study: Life Sciences

Major: Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences

Year: Junior

Career Goal: Ph.D. in Fisheries Biology. Roberto plans to conduct research on the native redband trout in the Pacific Northwest.

Mentors: Jonathan Armstrong, Melanie Davis, Katherine Carey

The OSU nomination committee includes faculty from the Colleges of Science and Engineering: Dr. Skip Rochefort Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering; Dr. Louis Wojcinski from Chemistry; Dr. Kari Van Zee, Dr. Alysia Mortimer, and Dr. Juan Vanegas from Biochemistry and Biophysics; and Dr. David Hendrix from Biochemistry and Biophysics and Computer Science. Student advising and nominations were coordinated by LeAnn Adam, Director and Becca Otto, Coordinator from OSU National and Global Scholarships Advising.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 to serve as a living memorial to honor the lifetime work of Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years in the U.S. Senate.  

This year, the Goldwater Foundation has awarded 438 total scholarships, bringing the total number of scholarships awarded by the Goldwater Foundation since 1989 to 10,720. From an estimated pool of over 5,000 college sophomores and juniors, 1353 science, engineering and mathematics students were nominated by 446 academic institutions to compete for the 2024 Goldwater scholarships. Virtually all Goldwater scholars intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their highest degree objective. 57 Scholars intend to pursue research careers in mathematics and computer science, 237 in the sciences, 80 in medicine, and 64 in engineering and materials research. An increasing number of the Goldwater Scholars have published their research in leading professional journals and have presented their work at professional society conferences.

With its strength in undergraduate research, Oregon State University has a strong history of Goldwater scholars, 48 receiving the honor since 1991. 

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on November 14, 1986. 

For further information, contact OSU Goldwater Campus Representative LeAnn Adam at (541) 737-1996 [email protected] or visit https://topscholars.oregonstate.edu/