Campus News

UGA Honors student Philip Grayeski named 2013 Goldwater Scholar

Philip Grayeski

Athens, Ga. – Philip Grayeski, a junior Honors student majoring in genetics and chemistry at the University of Georgia, has been named a 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar.

Grayeski is among a group of 271 recipients of the one- and two-year scholarships that recognize exceptional sophomores and juniors in engineering, mathematics and the natural sciences. He intends to pursue a combined M.D./Ph.D. degree with a focus on gene therapy and translating academic research into treatments for cancer and hereditary disorders.

Tuan Nguyen, a sophomore from Douglasville, Ga. majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology as well as mathematics, earned an honorable mention.

“The steady progression of UGA students receiving national academic scholarships such as the Goldwater is testament to the quality of the student body; the hard work and dedication of the faculty; and the skilled mentoring of the staff in the Honors Program,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “The future of this state and the nation is in very good hands with Philip and his Foundation Fellow colleagues, and I am proud of this recognition.”

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation provides up to $7,500 per year for university expenses such as tuition, fees, books and room and board. UGA students have received the Goldwater Scholarship almost every year since the mid-1990s. The 2013 recipient brings the university’s total of Goldwater Scholars to 44.

“Phil and Tuan richly deserve recognition by the Goldwater Foundation for their research excellence,” said David S. Williams, associate provost and director of UGA’s Honors Program. “I am very proud of both of them and also very grateful to their UGA faculty mentors. Each of them has received incredible support.”

Grayeski, who is a native of Raritan, N.J., is a UGA Foundation Fellow who works in the genetics laboratory of assistant professor Jonathan Eggenschwiler in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. He also has conducted research with UGA genetics professor Janet Westpheling as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s BioEnergy Science Center. He spent three months at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany researching genetic approaches for targeting melanoma treatments. He has presented his research findings at the UGA Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities Symposium and at a meeting of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy in Versailles, France.

He is the co-founder and executive director of Whatever It Takes at UGA, where he coordinates a network of more than 300 student volunteers for educational and health and wellness programs targeting families in Athens Clarke-County. He directs two after-school programs in Athens and manages 40 volunteers at each location to provide a one-to-one ratio of tutors to students. He served as vice president of programming for the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and coaches three boys basketball teams for the Oconee County Parks and Recreation Department. In 2012, he travelled to Peru to assemble mobile clinics in medically underserved communities.

The 2013 Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,107 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. For more information on the Goldwater Scholarship, see

For more information on UGA’s Honors Program, see