Fortunate Four Are Goldwater Scholars
by Bryan Wendell
One student wants to discover innovative ways to help cancer patients live longer. Another plans to peer into the DNA of marine life to find what answers await. A third scholar will examine water at the molecular level so more people can have clean drinking water. And a fourth Bucknellian will study what autism looks like in the brain.

In recognition of their past achievements and future potential, each of these four students has received the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for the 2019-20 academic year. The federally endowed award, one of the nation’s most prestigious, recognizes college sophomores and juniors who demonstrate innovation and intellectual curiosity in the fields of math, natural sciences or engineering.

Universities may nominate up to four students to become Goldwater Scholars, and Bucknell was one of fewer than two dozen schools to have all four nominees chosen, joining Stanford, Yale, Columbia, Duke and a handful of other selective institutions.

Bucknell’s honorees are:

Ariana Majer ’20, a cell biology & biochemistry major from Glenmoore, Pa. Majer plans to obtain a Ph.D. in immunology and conduct cancer immunotherapy research. Her mentors include Professor Mark Haussmann, biology.

Cheyenne McKinley ’20, a biology major from Palmerton, Pa. McKinley plans to obtain a Ph.D. in genomics with a concentration in marine biology. Her mentor is Professor Sarah Lower, biology.

Grace Rhoades ’20, a chemical engineering major from Highland Park, Ill. Rhoades plans to obtain a Ph.D. in materials science and focus on the synthesis of polymers in water treatment. Her mentor is Professor Brian Smith, chemistry.

William Snyder ’21, a neuroscience major from Severna Park, Md. Snyder plans to obtain a Ph.D. in cognitive and computational neuroscience and become a professor of neuroscience. His mentor is Vanessa Troiani of the Geisinger-Bucknell Autism & Developmental Medicine Center.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986. More than 5,000 students applied for the 2019-20 scholarship, and less than 10 percent were selected.