From a pool of more than 5,000, three College of Charleston students came out on top to receive the Goldwater Scholarship — one of the highest honors for undergraduates studying science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). Awarded in partnership with the Department of Defense National Defense Education Programs (NDEP), the Goldwater Scholarship aims to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in STEM fields.
Honors College juniors Phia Gierszal and Hails Tanaka together with sophomore Kristen Snyder were among 410 Goldwater Scholarship recipients for the 2020-21 academic year. Each Goldwater Scholar receives a maximum of $7,500 annually for tuition, mandatory fees, books, and room and board for up to two years.
Gierszal, a chemistry and biochemistry major, plans to pursue her doctorate in chemistry with a concentration in chemical biology. Her goal is to conduct research on antibiotic developments in order to optimize new methods of antibiotic total synthesis and teach at a university.
Snyder, a biology major with a molecular concentration and a neuroscience and chemistry minor, is part of the College’s Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program and plans to pursue a dual Ph.D./M.D. in neuroscience. She aims to conduct research in molecular and behavioral neuroscience with clinical applications, studying neuronal plasticity underlying psychological disorders.
Tanaka, a marine biology major, plans to pursue a doctorate in marine sciences with a focus on the interactions between organisms and the environment. Tanaka’s goal is to conduct research in the marine sciences and work at a research university.
To read more about this story, check out the full article by Darcie Goodwin at The College Today. Photos by Heather Moran.