Prestigious Goldwater Scholarships Awarded

Three students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have won scholarships from the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.


The recently announced scholarships will be awarded to Zeynep Alptekin ’23, Ashley Eng ’23, and Wyatt Tran’23, who all will be dedicating their careers to work as scientists, mathematicians and engineers.

The Goldwater Foundation provides a continuing source of highly qualified scholars to work as scientists, mathematicians and engineers. The Goldwater Scholarship supports students who have a passion for research, potential to contribute to their disciplines, and who plan to pursue a graduate degree. The Goldwater scholars from UMass Amherst are all Commonwealth Honors College sophomores and juniors committed to a career in STEM research.

Alptekin, a junior and chemical engineering major from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, plans to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry or materials science. “I want to carry out research at the intersection of computation and experiment to discover and develop new materials for sustainable energy,” says Alptekin. 

Eng, a junior microbiology major from Brookline, Massachusetts, wishes to expand her future studies by earning a Ph.D. in microbiology, researching microbial ecology while teaching both undergraduate and graduate students at a public research institution.

Tran, a junior and double major in microbiology and biochemistry & molecular biology from Braintree, Massachusetts, has a career plan to “continue with a Ph.D. in immunology and infectious diseases, conducting research on host immune response to virulence factors and cellular structure of pathogens,” he says.

“These student-scholars represent UMass Amherst in the highest national circle of excellence in terms of scientific research,” said Madalina Akli, director of the UMass Amherst Office of National Scholarship Advisement. “They have been recognized with other internal awards, presented at conferences, and some have even been published in professional journals.”

Student nominations for the Goldwater were made possible by UMass Amherst’s Office of National Scholarship Advisement (ONSA). Akli encourages STEM sophomores and juniors to contact ONSA for advising. Each year, ONSA nominates four sophomores or juniors for the Goldwater.

ONSA is an advising service available to all UMass Amherst undergraduate and graduate students, as well as the university’s alumni community.

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