When Ascanio Guarini ’16 clicked the website and saw his name on the list of 2015-16 Goldwater Scholars, his face lit up.
“I couldn’t believe it, and I didn’t really know what to say,” says the Honors engineering and economics major from New York City. “It took a few minutes for me to process, and then I immediately called my mom and dad.”
Awarded to outstanding sophomores and juniors planning on careers in math, science, and engineering, the Goldwater Scholarship provides $7,500 toward tuition, room, and board. The Goldwater Foundation bestowed the honor on 260 students out of 1,200 applications.
Guarini outlined his goal of an M.D./Ph.D in biomedical/electrical engineering to the committee, citing interest in developing innovative strategies to improve health outcomes and an overall passion for biomedical innovation.
“Ever since I went to the TEDMED conference in 2012, I knew that I wanted to have an impact in the development of medical technology,” he says. “Since then, I’ve been trying to learn more through my engineering education and research experiences in order to position myself for a career in that space.”
Next year, Guarini plans to take courses in digital signal processing, advanced circuit applications, and health economics, among others, and gear a senior project toward innovation. He credits Swarthmore for guiding his journey along this path.
“It was here that I learned the value of hard work, perseverance, and initiative,” he says, citing Carr Everbach, engineering professor and department chair, as a mentor. “The engineering program here forced me to learn how to learn — and fast.”
Shenstone Huang ’16, an Honors chemistry and engineering major from Pella, Iowa, received an honorable mention from the Goldwater Foundation. He cited the goal of a Ph.D in chemistry or biophysical chemistry and a law degree specializing in chemistry-related industries.
“The application process was an incredible opportunity for me to concretely think about my research, the greater context of my research, and my future direction,” he says. “It made me realize how thankful I am for the Swarthmore community, in particular, Professor of Biophysical Chemistry Kathleen Howard, for their support of my academic and personal goals.”