Whitman College junior Grace Newman has been named a 2022-2023 Goldwater Scholar by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The biochemistry, biophysics & molecular biology major from Juneau, Alaska, is one of only 417 students across the United States selected for the award from a pool of more than 5,000 applicants.
Associate Professor of Chemistry Mark Juhasz, who chairs Whitman’s internal Goldwater selection committee, commends Newman’s outstanding academic performance and ability to grasp complex ideas. “As a student in my organic chemistry classes, her depth of understanding was impressive. Her questions were probing and reflected insights I would expect from a Ph.D. student, not a college sophomore—but Grace is not a typical college student,” says Juhasz.
Newman’s mentor, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Jonathan Collins, adds that she has contributed tremendously to his lab's work on applying enzymes in chemical synthesis. “It is wonderful to see her hard work and great potential recognized in this way,” says Collins.
A Bright Future
Established by Congress in 1986 in honor of former U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater, the Goldwater Scholarship is the most prestigious undergraduate award given in the sciences. It recognizes students with “outstanding potential” who plan to pursue a PhD in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering.
Newman, who plans to earn a Ph.D. in a health-related field while exploring environmentally-friendly laboratory techniques, says she aspires to a career that helps people and the environment. “The process of applying for this scholarship helped me feel more confident in my own abilities as an aspiring scientist and grew my desire to pursue a career in research immensely,” she adds.
Newman is the ninth Whitman student since 1990 to earn a Goldwater Scholarship, which covers up to $7,500 of eligible expenses for tuition, fees, books and room and board per year.
“I am so honored to receive this scholarship,” Newman says. “I am grateful for the Chemistry research experience I received working in Professor Collins’s lab and for the hands-on opportunities Whitman offers for BBMB majors. I also want to thank Professor Juhasz for encouraging me to apply and for helping me throughout the application process.”