The Barry Goldwater Scholarship was established by congress in 1986

Georgia Tech’s Lee-Kai Sun and Julia Woodall are 2019 recipients of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship. They are undergraduate students in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at Georgia Tech and Emory University.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 to serve as a living memorial to honor the lifetime work of senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years in the U.S. Senate.

“As it is vitally important that the Nation ensures that it has the scientific talent it needs to maintain its global competitiveness and security, we saw partnering with the Goldwater Foundation as a way to help ensure the U.S. is developing this talent,” said Dr. Jagadeesh Pamulapati, director of the Department of Defense National Defense Education Programs (NDEP) who is a partner with the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

“I feel quite honored to receive the Goldwater Scholarship, and I am very grateful to my research mentors Dr. Wilbur Lam, Dr. Russell Ware, and Meredith Fay who have supported me throughout my undergraduate research,” said Woodall. “Conducting research at Tech has allowed me the unique opportunity to study hematological disorders through a mechanical lens. I look forward to continuing this research in graduate school, where I hope to further characterize how cellular mechanics give rise to high level disease symptoms.”

“I feel incredibly honored to have been awarded the Goldwater Scholarship. I wish to devote my life to improving the lives of as many people as I can, and receiving the Goldwater makes me confident that I’m headed in the right direction,” said Sun. “I am immensely grateful towards Dr. Gabe Kwong and my graduate student mentor, Ian Miller. Their support and mentorship have allowed me to develop into the scientist I am today. In the future, I plan to explore novel strategies of immunomodulation for the treatment of refractory diseases, and pursue a M.D./Ph.D. in immunology or biomedical engineering.

Goldwater Scholars have impressive academic and research credentials that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs. Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 92 Rhodes Scholarships, 137 Marshall Awards, 159 Churchill Scholarships, 104 Hertz Fellowships, and numerous other distinguished awards like the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

The Goldwater 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 preeminent undergraduate award of its type in these fields.

Headshot of Georgia Tech BME student Lee-Kai Sun
Headshot of Georgia Tech BME student Julia Woodall