Michigan State University student named recipient of national STEM scholarship

April 6, 2018 - By: Stephanie Cepak

Gabriel Moreau, an Honors College sophomore majoring in physics in Lyman Briggs College and music in the College of Music, has been named a recipient of the nationally competitive Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

Gabriel MoreauMoreau is the 44th Goldwater Scholar from MSU since Congress established the scholarship program in 1986.

The Goldwater Foundation seeks scholars committed to a career in science, mathematics, or engineering who display intellectual intensity and who have the potential for significant future contribution in their chosen field, providing them with funding for undergraduate tuition and living expenses.

“I am grateful and honored to receive this prestigious research scholarship, and would like to thank my research mentors and all the people at MSU who have helped me, supported me and believed in my potential,” Moreau said. “I truly would not have been able to achieve this goal without them. I look forward to continuing my research here at MSU, finishing my degrees and going to graduate school. The Goldwater Scholarship is not only an incredible honor – it is an immense opportunity for me.”

Moreau eventually plans to pursue a doctorate in nuclear or plasma physics, conducting research in either nuclear fusion energy or nuclear medicine.

Moreau holds U.S. and French citizenship and graduated from Lycée Vauvenargues in Aix-en-Provence, France.

He is a research assistant at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and previously worked as a research assistant for Professor Oscar Naviliat-Cuncic in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Both were related to research in nuclear physics.

“I can simply say that I never met somebody as extraordinary as Gabriel,” said Naviliat-Cuncic. “He is perseverant when facing difficulties and remains focused and problem solving oriented. He has an outstanding level of academic preparation and computing skills and has made achievements to the research work of my group comparable to those made by a graduate student during a PhD thesis.”

In addition, the foundation selected three MSU students as honorable mentions for the award:

  • Nahid (Anna) Baghdadi, an Honors College junior majoring in chemistry in the College of Natural Science.
  • Brendyn Smith, an Honors College junior majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology in the College of Natural Science.
  • Hunter Stanke, an Honors College sophomore majoring in forestry in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and environmental geosciences in the College of Natural Science.
The National/International Fellowships and Scholarships (NIFS) Office, administered by the Honors College, helps interested undergraduate and graduate students pursue major national and international opportunities by providing information and direct support throughout the competitive application processes.

“On behalf of the students, staff and faculty of Michigan State University, I am happy to congratulate Gabriel for being named a recipient of this award and congratulate the three additional students for receiving honorable mentions,” said Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, dean of the Honors College. “Gabriel has been enthusiastic about engaging in research since he first came to the university and earning this award is a wonderful acknowledgement of the effort he has made thus far.”