Campus News

Three UGA Honors students named 2018 Goldwater Scholars

UGA undergraduates (from left) Trisha Dalapati, Guy Eroh and Stephan George are among 211 students from across the nation to be recognized as Barry Goldwater Scholars.

University of Georgia undergraduates Trisha Dalapati, Guy Eroh and Stephan George are among 211 students from across the nation to be recognized as Barry Goldwater Scholars, earning the highest undergraduate award of its type for the fields of the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering.

Georgia institutions had a total of six Goldwater Scholars. UGA had the highest number with three and was joined by Berry College, Emory University and Spelman College, which had one scholar each.

Dalapati, a junior from Roswell, is majoring in anthropology and biochemistry and molecular biology and working toward a master’s degree in comparative biomedical sciences. Eroh, a junior from Portland, Oregon, is majoring in ecology and earning a master’s degree in forest resources. George, a sophomore from Lawrenceville, is majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology, biology with a concentration in neuroscience, and genetics.

“The university congratulates Trisha, Guy and Stephan on this outstanding achievement,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “Our newest Goldwater Scholars reflect the tremendous strength of our students as well as the commitment of exceptional faculty mentors who guide and teach them. I look forward to all that these amazing students will accomplish in the coming years.”

Since 1995, 56 UGA students have received the Goldwater Scholarship, all of whom have been members of the Honors Program.

The scholarship recognizes exceptional sophomores and juniors across the nation. This year, awardees were selected from a field of 1,280 undergraduates and were nominated by campus representatives from among 2,000 colleges and universities nationwide. They will receive up to $7,500 toward the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board.

Of this year’s Goldwater Scholars, 29 are mathematics and computer science majors, 142 are majoring in the natural sciences, and 40 are majoring in engineering. Many are majoring in a combination of mathematics, science, engineering and computer science.

Ruth Schade, a junior from Marlborough, Massachusetts, was among 281 Goldwater nominees named as honorable mentions. She is working toward bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nutritional sciences.

“I am so thrilled for each of these students,” said David S. Williams, associate provost and director of the Honors Program, who serves as the UGA campus faculty representative for the Goldwater Scholarship. “All of them richly deserve recognition by the Goldwater Foundation for their hard work and research excellence. I think it speaks volumes that they came to UGA from across the country because they knew about the quality of our undergraduate research program and the strong support that faculty members provide to our students.”

Dalapati plans to obtain an M.D./Ph.D. in infectious diseases after graduating from UGA. As a translational medicine researcher, she intends to investigate disease pathogenesis to create diagnostic tools for vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and children.

She currently conducts cell and tissue culture work with Julie Moore, a professor of infectious disease and associate vice president for research, in Moore’s placental malaria lab. She also analyzes data remotely with Moses Batwala of the University of Oxford Nuffield Department of Women’s & Reproductive Health.

In addition to her research, Dalapati is a Foundation Fellow, director of the Lunchbox Garden Project, a committee chair for the Model United Nations and a member of the Honors Program Student Council, Palladia Women’s Honor Society and Omicron Delta Kappa. Dalapati received the best poster award at the Emory STEM Symposium and is an Indian classical dancer.

Eroh intends to pursue a doctorate in a biological science with an emphasis in molecular genetics and fisheries science. His long-range aspiration is to rebuild and sustain robust, diverse fish populations through the application of molecular genetics to the science of fisheries management.

At UGA, his coursework and research experiences have been tailored to emphasize the interplay among genetics, fisheries science and ecology. He currently conducts research with UGA faculty Cecil Jennings, Robert Bringolf and Jean Williams-Woodward to maximize hatch success of walleye eggs. He was first author on a peer-reviewed paper published in the journal PLOS One for his research on the genetic basis of grey-morphism in the Southern right whale. Eroh also interned for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and the Center for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science in the U.K.

Eroh, a Foundation Fellow, served as president of 5 Rivers UGA and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Trout Unlimited, the Upper Oconee Watershed Network and the Georgia and Oregon chapters of the American Fisheries Society. He received the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Wildlife Leadership Award and is an avid runner and a SCUBA-certified diver.

After earning a doctorate in biochemistry, George plans to devote his career to uncovering the link between genetic abnormalities and the development of neurological disorders to improve therapeutic outcomes for children afflicted with hereditary neurological disorders.

He started working toward this goal by joining professor and Georgia Cancer Coalition Scholar Lance Wells’ laboratory at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center as soon he arrived on the UGA campus, focusing on the causal linkages between aberrant glycosylation patterns and hereditary disorders. He also conducts research on aflatoxin B1 with assistant professor Brian Kvitko.

George is a CURO Honors Scholar, president of UGA’s iGEM Research Team and the Biochemistry Undergraduate Society, co-president of the UGA STEM Research Alliance, exam director for Science Olympiad Outreach, founding member and treasurer of the pre-health group HOSA at UGA and a member of the Dean William Tate Honor Society. He has received the Red Cross Service Award and helped refurbish an HIV/AIDS clinic during UGA’s 2017 IMPACT Service Break in Memphis, Tennessee.

The scholarship honoring Sen. Barry Goldwater was designed to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, natural sciences and engineering. Since its first award in 1989, the Foundation has bestowed 8,132 scholarships worth approximately $65 million.