Fellowship Highlight: The Goldwater Scholarship

Written by Inayah Bashir ’20

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship is awarded to sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming leading researchers in STEM fields and are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. It provides $7,500 per year to help cover undergraduate academic expenses. Wesleyan students have won the Goldwater multiple times, and we encourage eligible students planning careers in STEM research to apply. Read about our current Goldwater Scholar and four students who applied for the Goldwater this year.

Nate Gillman ‘20 (Goldwater Scholarship Recipient)

Nate is a math major who is enrolling in a math PhD program after graduation. He plans to specialize in analytic number theory and arithmetic geometry, in preparation for a research career in academia. During the fall of his junior year, he studied at the Math in Moscow program, and the following spring he studied in the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics. The highlights of his undergraduate career included these semesters in eastern Europe, as well as participating in Emory’s number theory REU. Nate applied to the Goldwater scholarship in order to graduate with less debt, as well as to strengthen his candidacy for math PhD programs and national graduate fellowships. In the process, Nate appreciated the opportunity to practice applying for competitive research-based fellowships. 

Camille Chossis ’21

Camille Chossis is currently a junior at Wesleyan University majoring in Neuroscience and Biology. He hopes to complete his master’s degree in Neuroscience at Wesleyan before going to graduate school to complete a PhD in BioStatistics. His research in the O’Neil Lab currently focuses on the relationship between C9ORF72 mutation, glial cells, and neurodegeneration. Outside of the lab, Camille is a member of the men’s water polo team.

Joseph Cutler ‘21

Joe Cutler is a Computer Science and Math major. His research seeks to address the problem of unpredictability in software: as languages get more complex and powerful, the added complexity often comes with the extra baggage of increased difficulty in reasoning about programs. Guided by Professor Dan Licata and Professor Norman Danner, Joe has worked on a project that focuses on making the task of programming easier for software developers. He applied to the Goldwater because he plans to apply to PhD programs in Computer Science, and the scholarship would support his application while also providing funding for him to travel to conferences to share his work with future colleagues and prospective advisors.

Thomas McKenzie-Smith ‘22

Thomas McKenzie-Smith is a physics and math double major. Thomas’ passion is physics, yet he is also dedicated to understanding math and philosophy. Thomas enjoys playing chess and writing music for the acoustic guitar. He applied to the Goldwater Scholarship to get support with his research and to gain recognition for the work that he is doing at Wesleyan. 

Ekram Towsif ‘21 

Ekram Towsif majors in Physics, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, and The College of Integrative Sciences. He is interested in personal development and expanding his knowledge on fields outside of his majors, such as economics and politics. He also has a passion for traveling to gain new experiences and skills, which he applies to his research on campus. He applied to the Goldwater Scholarship because he plans to attain a PhD in Biophysics to further his career in research and academia.