Michigan State University nominates undergraduate researchers for national Goldwater Scholarship

Four undergraduate researchers studying STEM-related fields have been nominated by Michigan State University for the nationally competitive Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

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. MSU has produced 43 Goldwater Scholars since the scholarship program was established by Congress in 1986. The scholarship provides funding for undergraduate tuition and living expenses.

The four MSU nominees are Honors College junior Michael Bigelow, a mechanical engineering major in the College of Engineering; Honors College junior Victor Ramirez, a physics major in Lyman Briggs College; Honors College junior Abigail Shotwell, a microbiology major in Lyman Briggs College; and Honors College junior Marilyn Werner, a microbiology major in Lyman Briggs College.

The National and International Fellowships and Scholarships (NIFS) Office, administered by the Honors College, helps interested undergraduate and graduate students to pursue major national and international opportunities by providing information and direct support throughout the competitive application processes.

“These students chose to pursue challenging research and learning opportunities that can make an impact,” said Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, dean of the MSU Honors College. “Michigan State University is proud to recognize these students by nominating them for the Goldwater Scholarship.”

Bigelow is an undergraduate research assistant for the Plasmas and Nanomaterials Laboratory in the College of Engineering, where he develops procedures and experiments to deposit nanocrystals, which produces LED light in any color. He is also Spalding Scholar in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and won first place for his research about gallium nitride at the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF).

Ramirez is an undergraduate research assistant for the Department of Physics and Astronomy where he creates circuits using High Electron Mobility Transistors (HEMT) and tutors students in various physics courses. He has also been an undergraduate research assistant at the University of Washington, working on quantum computing, which includes trapping ions and observing changes using a microscope. This research makes future quantum computing simulations faster and more accurate.

Shotwell is an undergraduate research assistant for Professor Joan Rose’s Water Quality, Environmental, and Molecular Microbiology Lab. She has experience in virology research from the University of Nebraska, where she analyzed epidemiological data of patients in Tanzania.

Werner works as a research assistant in two different labs on campus – under Assistant Professor Robert Abramovitch studying tuberculosis and under Assistant Professor Jubin Cheruvelil studying diabetes among Native Americans and traditional food consumption.