Recipients of the Goldwater Scholarship earn awards of up to $7,500 a year a provided to help students cover costs associated with tuition, fees, books, and room and board. Students selected as recipients for the scholarships are top-caliber students; recipients have an average GPR of 3.9.
Goldwater scholarships are awarded to exceptional sophomore or junior undergraduates who intend to pursue research careers in mathematics, natural sciences or engineering. The Goldwater Foundation gave its first award in 1989 and has bestowed more than $40 million worth of scholarships.
Gonzalez and Vicary were nominated by a committee, comprised of faculty and staff, organized by LAUNCH: National Fellowships at Texas A&M University as part of a pool of thousands of national applicants from colleges and universities.
Oscar Gonzalez ‘20
Oscar Gonzalez is a junior chemistry major with minors in physics and mathematics from San Juan, Texas. Mr. Gonzales works on two projects in Dr. Sarbajit Banerjee’s lab to develop materials that will allow for increased computer efficiency. He synthesizes hematite films for photoelectrochemical water splitting and creates ways to push the deposition process towards higher film quality and higher water splitting efficiency. When asked how these research experiences have shaped him, Mr. Gonzalez said that “Working on these projects has helped me become the scientist I want to become. In addition, I want to share and use everything I have learned with the rest of the world.” As part of this spirit of sharing scientific discovery, Mr. Gonzalez is an Undergraduate Research Ambassador where he works to facilitate research opportunities for undergraduate students. He is also a Regents’ Scholar, member of The Academy of Undergraduate Researchers Across Texas (AURA Texas), served as a Peer Mentor for the Century Scholars Learning Community, and was a Barry Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention just last year. After graduation, Gonzalez would like to go to graduate school in order to continue to pursue his research interests.
Alison Vicary ‘20
Alison Vicary is a biochemistry and genetics double major from Houston, Texas. She first became interested in biochemistry research during high school biology when she was fascinated by the complexity of DNA. Wanting to learn more about the intricacy of biomolecular interactions and their importance to human health, she took an opportunity to work on a project in Dr. James Briggs’ computational biochemistry lab at the University of Houston. During her freshman year at Texas A&M, she joined Dr. Vishal Gohil’s lab, where she is currently working on a project to uncover the roles of uncharacterized mitochondrial proteins involved in assembling the mitochondrial respiratory chain. She also spent one summer at MD Anderson Cancer Center doing leukemia research in Dr. Michael Andreeff’s lab. After graduating in May 2020, her goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry. She plans to become a scientist researching the molecular bases of diseases, hoping to discover more about the molecules of life and contribute to advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases.
To read more about how LAUNCH: National Fellowships helps prepare outstanding students to compete for nationally-competitive awards such as the Goldwater Scholarship with the generous support of the Association of Former Students, please visit http://natlfellows.tamu.edu.