Where Legends Are Made

UA Leads Nation in Goldwater Scholars

The University of Alabama continues to take the national stage with four 2017 Goldwater Scholars, making it the third time in seven years that UA has had all four nominees selected for this prestigious award.

Over the last 10 years, the Capstone leads the nation with 31 Goldwater Scholars, surpassing Princeton, Cornell and Harvard. In addition, UA is one of only four institutions, alongside Stanford, Princeton and Iowa State, to have the maximum number of nominees selected in 2017.

The federal scholarship program honoring U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.

With 51 Goldwater Scholars, 15 Rhodes Scholars, 11 NSEP Boren Scholars and 16 Harry S. Truman Scholars in UA’s history, we take pride in preparing our students through academic rigor and excellence to make significant contributions to research with national impact.

UA Goldwater Scholars Conduct Transformative Research

Sean Devey, of North Salem, New York -- Field of Study: Engineering

“I desire to earn a doctorate in aerospace engineering.”

Devey, a junior in aerospace engineering, has worked on a novel method for passive separation control inspired by the scales of the fast-swimming shortfin mako shark with advisers, Dr. Paul Hubner and Dr. Amy Lang, associate professors in aerospace engineering.

Alison Farrar, of South Pasadena, California -- Field of Study: Physics and Astronomy

“I plan to pursue a research career in medical nanotechnology as an M.D.-Ph.D.”

Farrar has conducted research on theoretical materials physics with the Mewes Magnetics Laboratory for the past two years under her faculty mentor, Dr. Claudia Mewes, an associate professor of physics and astronomy. Her work investigates anisotropic damping, a new phenomenon of micromagnetic behavior found in the modern magnetic materials used for computer storage devices and medical technology.

Melissa Mathews, of Birmingham -- Field of Study: Engineering

“As a co-op with Eastman Chemical Co., I work as a process improvement engineer and a process design engineer.”

Mathews works with Dr. Lin Li, assistant professor of metallurgical and materials engineering to create computational models of a thermoelectric material, Bismuth Telluride (Bi2Te3), to better study its mechanical properties. This fundamental study is a vital step toward improving the material’s efficiency and therefore broadening its applications. Currently, Mathews co-ops with Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport, Tennessee, where she has worked as a process improvement engineer and a process design engineer.

Melissa Uehling, of Cary, North Carolina -- Field of Study: Life Sciences

“I hope to earn a doctorate in molecular biology to continue my study of neurodegenerative disorders as a career.”

Uehling has conducted research since the fall of her freshman year on the neurological disorders torsion dystonia and Alzheimer’s disease. Her work on torsion dystonia involved drug discovery research, and her work on Alzheimer’s has focused on genetic factors that influence disease pathology. Her faculty mentors are Drs. Guy and Kim Caldwell, professors of biological sciences.