Montana Tech Student Awarded Goldwater Scholarship

Montana Tech student Molly Brockway, a junior majoring in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, has been awarded the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship Foundation.

After graduation, Brockway plans to pursue a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering and research in the field of biomaterials. “I would like to use the interdisciplinary research in materials science and bioengineering to address the forefront issues present in biomaterials research,” noted Brockway, from Anchorage, Alaska. “My strong background in materials engineering will allow me the tools to improve medical implants and their applications in living systems.”

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation awarded 252 scholarships for the 2016–2017 academic year to undergraduate sophomores and juniors from the United States.

“It's an incredible honor to receive an award as prestigious as the Goldwater Scholarship,” added Brockway. “Montana Tech's excellent hands-on engineering program gave me valuable research experience, which helped me realize where my interests lie. The faculty was also instrumental; they gave me guidance and support through every step of the process. I'm proud to represent Montana Tech and everyone who helped me with my application.”

The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,150 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the institutional representatives of 415 colleges and universities nationwide. One hundred forty-four of the Scholars are men, 108 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their degree objective. Thirty Scholars are mathematics majors, 157 are science and related majors, 59 are majoring in engineering, and 6 are computer science majors. Many of the Scholars have dual majors in a variety of mathematics, science, engineering, and computer disciplines.

The one and two year scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

Goldwater Scholars have very impressive academic qualifications that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs. Recent Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 86 Rhodes Scholarships, 125 Marshall Awards, 134 Churchill Scholarships, and numerous other distinguished fellowships such as the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships.

Brockway joins eight Montana Tech students who received the Goldwater Award or Honorable Mention. They are: Macy Ricketts, (2015 Honorable Mention), Jordan Leone (2014, Honorable Mention), Ryan Hensleigh (2014, Honorable Mention), Joe Mitzel (2013), Robert Hark (2012), Chris Dienes (2007), Calley Jones (2000), and Ariane Erickson (2011, Honorable Mention).

"This is the sixth year in a row a Montana Tech student has received the Goldwater scholar or honorable mention honor,” said Montana Tech Chancellor Don Blackketter. “I would like to commend Molly and the faculty along with the Montana Tech National Student Awards Committee. This is a great honor for Molly and our campus."

Dr. Marisa Pedulla chairs Montana Tech’s National Student Awards Committee (NSAC), which supports Montana Tech students for major national and international scholarships. The mission of NSAC, which was founded in 2006, is to create a campus community that fosters and supports outstanding Montana Tech students throughout their education and to nominate and assist Montana Tech’s top students in the preparation of applications for prestigious National Awards. “Helping Montana Tech’s outstanding undergraduates to realize their potential and be recognized for their accomplishments has been a tremendously rewarding endeavor,” explained Pedulla. “It’s exciting and motivating to work closely with the student nominees and dedicated committee members in the process of preparing applications. Molly’s selection as a Goldwater Scholar is an honor for not only Molly, but the entire Montana Tech community.”

In the past 10 years, Montana Tech’s NSAC has had four Goldwater Scholars and four Goldwater Honorable Mention awards. Two students, Jack Stratton (2009) and Casey Clark (2011), were finalists for the Rhodes Scholarship. Montana Tech 2010 chemistry alum, Cory Sonnemann, who graduated from Pacific Northwest University College of Osteopathic Medicine, won a National Health Service Corps Scholarship. Katie Tabaracci, Joe Mitzel and Ivan Sljivar, a metallurgical engineering alum, all won the NAIA Dr. LeRoy Walker Champions of Character Award.

Former Montana Tech Chancellor Dr. W. Franklin Gilmore recently retired as President of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on November 14, 1986. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.

Since its first award in 1989, the Foundation has bestowed 7,680 scholarships worth approximately 48 million dollars. The Trustees plan to award about two hundred sixty scholarships for the 2017–2018 academic year.