Four OSU Undergraduates Named 2021 Goldwater Scholars

(March 26, 2021) Four Oregon State University undergraduate students have been named 2021 Goldwater Scholars by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. 

Emily Gemmill, junior
Field of Study: Life Sciences (College of Science: majors in Biochemistry and Biophysics and Mathematical Biology and minor in Chemistry)
Career Goal: Ph.D. in Biophysics or Computational Biology to continue biomedical research and teach in an academic setting.
Mentors: Weihong Qiu, Kevin Brown, Melody Wilson

Alyssa Pratt, sophomore
Field of Study: Life Sciences (Colleges of Science, Engineering and Honors: majors in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Computer Science)
Career Goal: Ph.D. in Computational Biology. Conduct research to predict molecular structures and lead a research group as principal investigator.
Mentor: David Hendrix

Tegan Thurston, junior
Field of Study: Engineering (Colleges of Engineering and Honors: major in Bioengineering and certificate in Medical Humanities)
Career Goal: MD-PhD in biomedical engineering and lead a lab to develop engineering solutions for clinical settings.
Mentors: V. John Mathews, Xinhui Zhu, Michael Blouin

Cindy Wong, junior
Field of Study: Engineering (College of Engineering: major in Chemical Engineering and minor in Music Performance)
Career Goal: Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. Conduct research in energy storage, mentor students, and promote STEM outreach.
Mentors: Kelsey A. Stoerzinger, Willie E. ‘Skip’ Rochefort, Konstantinos A. Goulas

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. Ryan Mehl and Dr. Kari Van Zee from Biochemistry and Biophysics; and Dr. Heidi Schellman from Physics. Student advising and nominations were coordinated by LeAnn Adam, OSU Coordinator for National and Global Scholarships Advising, and Graduate Assistant Ashley Weibel.

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 2021-2022 academic year to 410 college students from across the United States. 

From an estimated pool of over 5,000 college sophomores and juniors, 1256 natural science, engineering and mathematics students were nominated by 438 academic institutions to compete for the 2021 Goldwater scholarships. Of students who reported, 198 of the Scholars are men, 207 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their highest degree objective. Fifty-one Scholars are mathematics and computer science majors, 291 are majoring in the natural sciences, and 68 are majoring in engineering. Many of the Scholars have published their research in leading professional 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 94 Rhodes Scholarships, 150 Marshall Scholarships, 170 Churchill Scholarships, 109 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 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.

For further information, contact OSU Goldwater Campus Representative LeAnn Adam at (541) 737-1996 or visit