Three ASU students receive prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

Three students from Arizona State University have been named Goldwater Scholars, a prestigious national scholarship awarded to students across the nation who are doing research in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Barrett Anderies, Christopher Balzer and Kaleigh Johnson, all juniors at Barrett, the Honors College, have been awarded this scholarship out of only four chosen from the state of Arizona.

Each university can only nominate four students per year, and fewer students overall were awarded scholarships than in many years prior.

“Beyond high academic achievement, the other main criterion for Goldwater Scholars is a demonstrated potential as a scientific researcher,” said Kyle Mox, associate dean at Barrett, the Honors College, and director of the Office of National Scholarships Advisement.

“Our students could not demonstrate this potential without the range of opportunities that ASU provides, particularly for talented and ambitious students to engage in significant undergraduate research under the supervision of world-class faculty members.”

Over the past decade, ASU has become one of the nation’s leading producers of Goldwater Scholars, with 27, outperforming Stanford, Princeton, Harvard and Yale. The latest honorees all credit ASU’s extensive research opportunities for undergraduates and their experiences at Barrett as critical to their success.

“The academic atmosphere of living and working at Barrett, the Honors College, elevated my performance in my classes and led me to get involved in research in the first few weeks of my freshman year,” said Balzer, a chemical engineering major. “Having other researchers pouring time and experience into my life gives me insight that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”

ASU offers a unique experience for many undergraduates, focusing on use-inspired research and transdisciplinary solutions.

“My involvement in this engineering academic program led me to explore sustainability from many different angles, including entrepreneurship, community service, interdisciplinary course work, global studies and research,” said Johnson, a chemical engineering major.

Anderies, a double major in biomedical engineering and mathematics, offered a similar sentiment, reflecting on the breadth of options for undergraduate research that allows students to experiment and tailor their academic experience.

“I had access to a huge number of research opportunities in both mathematics and engineering. These opportunities allowed me to extensively explore and develop my interests,” he said. “I am especially appreciative of the numerous funding opportunities available to undergraduates interested in conducting research.”

“Having other researchers pouring time and experience into my life gives me insight that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”
— ASU honors student and new Goldwater Scholar Christopher Balzer

Mox said winners of this scholarship often go on to win subsequent awards and grants, like the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship or Rhodes, Marshall or Churchill scholarships. The Office of National Scholarship Advisement will be there to help when these and other outstanding ASU students apply for those scholarships, too.

“The Office of National Scholarship Advisement has been an invaluable resource for helping students like myself tailor our applications, and it is a resource I intend to take advantage of again in the future,” said Anderies.

Each of the students thanked their scholarship advisers, as well as the faculty who supervised their research.

“They are the people behind the scenes who make all of these great opportunities possible for students like me,” said Balzer. “I’m beyond grateful for their help."