chemistry lab

Four College of Arts & Sciences students named Goldwater Scholars

Jessika Baral, Jacob Blum, Brandon Campbell, and Michael Moore were awarded the prestigious scholarship, which honors students who conduct research in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

Four Washington University students have been selected this year to receive the prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship – the highest number of WashU awardees since 2008. Jessika Baral, Jacob Blum, Brandon Campbell, and Michael Moore, all students in the College of Arts & Sciences, will each receive scholarships of $7,500.

Baral, a junior majoring in biology, plans to pursue an MD/PhD in computational biology before teaching and leading an oncology laboratory with the goal of inventing patient-data-based treatment options and diagnostic tools. Blum, a junior majoring in biology, also intends to pursue an MD/PhD and then go on to teach and conduct research in the fields of oncology and genetics, focusing on the epigenome and epigenetic aberrations. Campbell, a junior majoring in chemistry, plans to earn a PhD in chemistry and then teach and conduct materials science research at the university level. Moore, a junior majoring in chemistry, also intends to pursue an MD/PhD in biochemistry and investigate the molecular mechanisms of disease to identify and develop small molecules that could translate to clinically viable solutions.

From an estimated pool of more than 5,000 college sophomores and juniors, 1,343 natural science, engineering, and mathematics students were nominated by 461 academic institutions to compete for the 2020 Goldwater scholarships. Of these nominees, 396 were selected as Scholars. Fifty Scholars are mathematics and computer science majors, 287 are majoring in the natural sciences, and 59 are majoring in engineering, and virtually all of them intend to obtain a PhD as their highest degree objective. 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 93 Rhodes Scholarships, 146 Marshall Scholarships, 170 Churchill Scholarships, 109 Hertz Fellowships, and numerous other distinguished awards like the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

The Goldwater Scholarship, established by Congress in 1986 to honor the legacy of U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, was designed to encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics. It is the preeminent undergraduate award of its type in these fields.