A College of Charleston student has been named a Goldwater Scholar, one of the nation’s highest honors for undergraduates studying science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
Molecular biology major Vernon Kennedy was among the 396 undergraduates awarded scholarships by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation for their studies. The Goldwater reviewers faced the difficult task of selecting scholarship recipients from a pool of 1,343 outstanding undergraduates nominated by 461 institutions. This one- and two-year scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, room and board and books up to $7,500.
Originally from Winnsboro, S.C., Vernon is a currently a junior in the Honors College. Following his time at the College, Vernon plans to obtain his M.D./Ph.D. in neuroscience, studying molecular treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. His current research project examines synaptic reorganization following peripheral nerve injury. Specifically, he focuses on the effects that exercise treatments and estrogen signaling have on this phenomenon, and their potential therapeutic benefits.
The Goldwater Foundation was endowed in 1986 in honor of the late Sen. Barry Goldwater and is aimed at fostering and encouraging outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields, and 7,921 students have received about $63 million in awards since 1989.