The College of Science is delighted to announce that Delaney Smith, a junior biochemistry and biophysics major, has received the Barry Goldwater Scholarship for 2018, the top undergraduate award in the country for sophomores and juniors in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Goldwater Scholars are selected on the basis of outstanding academic achievement and for demonstrating the potential to pursue research careers.
Smith, an Honors College student pursuing a double major in biochemistry/biophysics and education as well as a minor in chemistry, has been selected for the prestigious Goldwater scholarship this year. Her achievement is all the more impressive because she is the only Goldwater scholar selected from an Oregon institution this year. Smith received a Goldwater Honorable Mention in 2017.
Additionally, Kendra Jackson, an Honors College sophomore in biochemistry and molecular biology, has been recognized with the Goldwater Honorable Mention, 2018.
Jackson is an undergraduate researcher in biochemistry professor Michael Freitag’s lab, where her academic accomplishments garnered her a Cripps Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) fellowship, awarded to biochemistry and biophysics undergraduates, last year.
Smith is among 211 undergraduate sophomores and juniors across the United States who received the Goldwater scholarships this year from a field of 1,280 STEM candidates nominated from over 2,000 colleges and universities nationwide.
The preeminent undergraduate award in the sciences, the Goldwater Scholarship Program was established in 1986 to honor former Arizona Senator Barry M. Goldwater, and is sponsored by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The award provides up to $7,500 per year for a maximum of two years covering undergraduate tuition, fees, books, and housing expenses.
The Goldwater Scholarship is administered at Oregon State University through LeAnn Adam, OSU Advisor for Prestigious Scholarships and a member of OSU Goldwater Scholarship Committee.
“Congratulations to Delaney and Kendra for being recognized as Goldwater Scholars for their academic excellence. I am proud of them and our outstanding students and alumni and our dedicated faculty and advisors who tirelessly mentor and encourage students to reach their highest potential as scientists,” said Roy Haggerty, Dean of the College of Science.
The College of Science has produced the highest number of high-achieving Goldwater Scholars at OSU. Since 2005, 17 Oregon State undergraduates have been named Goldwater scholars and 12 have received Honorable Mention. A total of 13 College of Science students have been awarded the Goldwater scholarships to date.
The only child of a single mother, Smith grew up in Portland, Oregon. Her grandfather was a diplomat in the Soviet Union, and in the years following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, her family left Russia to avoid political persecution. Smith’s mother got a job as an elementary school teacher as the family made its home in Portland. However, they also struggled to make ends meet when Smith was younger, and she helped out by taking on odd jobs throughout middle school and high school.
Undeterred by her financial circumstances, Smith worked hard, graduating as a valedictorian in high school and making her way to the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at OSU. An outstanding student, Smith’s scholarships have freed her from financial constraints, enabling her to focus her time and energy on academics and research.
She is an OSU Presidential Scholar as well as a recipient of the Tunison Scholarship from OSU’s chapter of the honor society Phi Kappa Phi awarded for impressive scholarly achievements. She has also garnered several College of Science scholarships, including the Haberman Premedical Scholarship and the Elizabeth Reeves Scholarship for excellence in academics, extracurricular activities, leadership and research.