Goldwater Scholars

The 2019 Iowa State Goldwater Scholars: Jacqueline Blaum, Atte Kadoma, Matthew Ryan and Nikita Kozak. 

Iowa State is home to four Goldwater scholars this year — the highest number of selections an institution can be awarded.

This year’s scholarship recipients from Iowa State are: Jacqueline Blaum, Atte Kadoma, Nikita Kozak and Matthew Ryan.

These individuals first applied in early September to be selected as Iowa State's nominees. In January, universities chose their four nominations and submitted them to the national level. After rounds of reviewal and voting by the Board of Trustees, the 496 scholars from across the nation were announced in May.

Jacqueline Blaum, a senior in physics and computer science, said the Goldwater Scholarship was a goal she had since her freshman year of college.

“I had been looking ahead to [the Goldwater Scholarship] since I first heard of it my freshman year,” Blaum said. “It’s always been a major goal of mine and a source of motivation."

Nikita Kozak, a senior in mechanical engineering, was one of 74 engineering majors selected as a Goldwater scholar.

“It’s encouraging to be put in the same group as the other nominees,” Kozak said.. “[Goldwater Scholars] are a prestigious group of people and I am honored and very humbled by the award.”

Atte Kadoma, a senior in materials engineering, also expressed her gratitude for the selection.

“It means a lot to me,” Kadoma said. “I’ve put a lot of work into my research and it’s nice to be recognized.”

Kadoma said she hopes for others who may be conducting research or thinking about applying to follow in her path.

“I hope I can inspire other young researchers,” Kadoma said.

Laura Good, the Assistant Director for Nationally Competitive Awards and University Honors Program and Goldwater campus representative said students should contact her through email if they have any questions.

“You don’t know unless you try or unless you at least reach out and meet me or other staff about these sorts of opportunities,” Good said. “Sometimes students will come in, because the Goldwater is probably the one award that gets the most attention to be honest. But it’s not by any means the only one out there.”

Good said she can help students figure out other scholarship opportunities that would be the best fit for each student.

The deadline for next year’s application is Oct. 21, and Good said she would advise students who are interested to set up an appointment and meet with her to discuss these opportunities soon.

Good said students can also contact Kristin Terrill, a graduate teaching assistant and Nationally Competitive Awards Writing Consultant for the Center for Communication Excellence. Students can also schedule an appointment with her at the Center for Communication Excellence website.

The Goldwater Scholarship was established in memory of Barry Goldwater in 1986. The scholarship celebrates the research of college students while encouraging students to pursue careers in fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.

Over the course of the last 10 years, Iowa State has had all four nominations selected three times. This year, Iowa State is among only 20 institutions to have all nominees selected as scholars.

Reporting contributed by Amber Mohmand.

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