The Trustees of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education recently awarded Goldwater Scholarships to 496 college students from across the United States. Among this year’s recipients were Moravian Academy alumnae Julia Costacurta ’16 and Catherine Ryczek ’17.
A junior engineering student at Johns Hopkins University, Julia learned about the Goldwater Scholarship when last year’s recipients were announced. Said Julia, “I happened to know one of the recipients, as she had been a teaching assistant for a class I was taking at the time. I really looked up to her, so I asked her about the scholarship application process.” She stated that receiving this scholarship has reaffirmed her plan to attend graduate school and pursue a career in academia as a research professor at a university.
Julia shared, “Moravian prepares you to work hard and advocate for yourself. You become really aware of your own self-worth and start to test your limits before getting to college. I’ve found that these skills have helped me to seek out opportunities at Hopkins. You often need to be tenacious when seeking out research or work opportunities on any college campus, and it always helps to be self-aware of your own abilities and shortcomings when promoting yourself for these positions.”
Interested applicants must be nominated by their school to apply for the scholarship and Catherine, a sophomore physics and astronomy student at Hamilton College, was lucky enough to have the college representative reach out to her about the program based on faculty recommendations.
Of the award, Catherine said, “Being selected to receive a Goldwater Scholarship tells me that I am doing something right and that all of the hard work that I have been putting into research is paying off. More than that, it reaffirms my desire to continue to work towards obtaining a Ph.D. after Hamilton with the ultimate goal of becoming a physics professor at a college or university.”
She continued, “Moravian Academy gave me a great foundation for college course work in general, but specifically the teachers were incredibly supportive of my scientific inquiries. They encouraged my constant questions and pushed me to pursue the ideas that excited me. It was also through the Upper School that I had my first exposure to independent research and that helped me hit the ground running here at Hamilton.”
The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 as a living memorial to honor the lifetime work of Senator Barry Goldwater. Scholarships are provided to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering.