Contact: LeAnn Adam, OSU National and Global Scholarships Advising Coordinator and Goldwater Scholarship Campus Representative
Phone: (541) 737-1996
Email: [email protected]

Four OSU Juniors Named 2019 Goldwater Scholars

(April 29, 2019) Four Oregon State University juniors have been named 2019 Goldwater Scholars by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. United States institutions of higher education are allotted four nominations each: this incredible achievement marks the first time in OSU history that all four of our nominees have been named scholars. 

Isabella Karabinas
Field of Study: Life Sciences (Colleges of Science, Liberal Arts, and Honors: Majors in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Psychology with a minor in Chemistry)
Career Goal: After college, Isabella plan to pursue a doctoral degree in neuroscience and teach at the university level.
Mentor(s): Álvaro Estévez, Conor Liston, John Edwards, Puja Parekh

Kendra Jackson
Field of Study: Life Sciences (College of Science and Honors: Major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
Career Goal: Kendra will pursue an M.D./Ph.D. in molecular biology or genetics. She aims to conduct research in biochemical/epigenetic pathways that lead to cancer, and develop new therapies.
Mentor(s): Dr. Michael Freitag

Kyzer Gerez
Field of Study: Engineering (College of Engineering: Major in Nuclear Engineering with a minor in Political Science)
Career Goal: Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering. Kyzer plans to carry out research in support of national/global security, such as nuclear nonproliferation, at a national laboratory.
Mentor(s): Dr. Steven Reese, Dr. Gregg McKinney, Dr. Todd Palmer, Dr. Camille Palmer, Mitch Mannino, Garrett McMath

Ryan Tollefsen
Field of Study: Physics and Astronomy (College of Science and Honors: Major in Physics)
Career Goal: Ph.D. in Physics. Research quantum cosmology and applications of nuclear fusion and teach at university.
Mentor(s): Oksana Ostroverkhova, Alfredo Alexander-Katz, Steven Mayer, John Sukamto


The OSU nomination committee includes faculty from the Colleges of Science and Engineering: Dr. Skip Rochefort and Dr. Kelsey Stoerzinger from Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering; Dr. Kevin Gable from Chemistry; Dr. Bob Mason from Integrative Biology; Dr. Carlos Jensen from Computer Science and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs; Dr. Ryan Mehl and Dr. Kari Van Zee from Biochemistry and Biophysics; and Dr, Rebecca Vega-Thurber from Microbiology. Student advising and nominations were coordinated by LeAnn Adam in the OSU Office of 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.

As the result of a partnership with the Department of Defense National Defense Education Programs (NDEP), Mrs. Peggy Goldwater Clay, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, announced that the Trustees of the Goldwater Board have increased the number of Goldwater scholarships it has awarded for the 2019-2020 academic year to 496 college students from across the United States. “As it is vitally important that the Nation ensures that it has the scientific talent it needs to maintain its global competitiveness and security, we saw partnering with the Goldwater Foundation as a way to help ensure the U.S. is developing this talent,” said Dr. Jagadeesh Pamulapati, Director of the NDEP program, as he explained the new partnership. With the 2019 awards, this brings the number of scholarships awarded since 1989 by the Goldwater Foundation to 8,628 and a scholarship total to over $68M.

From an estimated pool of over 5,000 college sophomores and juniors, 1223 natural science, engineering and mathematics students were nominated by 443 academic institutions to compete for the 2019 Goldwater scholarships. Of students who reported, 241 of the Scholars are men, 252 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their highest degree objective. Sixty-two Scholars are mathematics and computer science majors, 360 are majoring in the natural sciences, and 74 are majoring in engineering. Many of the Scholars have published their research in leading journals and have presented their work at professional society conferences.

Goldwater Scholars have impressive academic and research credentials that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs. Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 92 Rhodes Scholarships, 137 Marshall Awards, 159 Churchill Scholarships, 104 Hertz Fellowships, and numerous other distinguished awards like the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on November 14, 1986. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the preeminent undergraduate award of its type in these fields.

For further information, contact OSU Goldwater Campus Representative LeAnn Adam at (541) 737-1996 or visit the National and Global Scholarships Advising website.