Goldwater Recipient Reflects on Selection, Future Plans

May 18, 2023 sdawkins Blog

729A6701 2Jaden Adams of Springville was recently announced as a recipient of a prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship. From an estimated pool of more than 5,000 college sophomores and juniors, 1,267 natural science, engineering and mathematics students were nominated by 427 academic institutions to compete for 2023 Goldwater Scholarships.

Adams, along with fellow Jefferson State students Melody Dailey and Chandlor Dobbs, were among 413 recipients nationwide, and among 10 from institutions in Alabama. Campus Representative Jamie Holley said it was remarkable for JSCC as a community college to meet or exceed the number of recipients from other institutions in the state.

“Receiving this scholarship and being named a Goldwater Scholar is potentially life-changing for these students,” said Jamie Holley, Division Chair for Math, Engineering, and Physical Sciences. “The Goldwater is the most prestigious and sought-after scholarship awarded to students pursuing research careers in the natural sciences, engineering, or mathematics and is only awarded to the top students in these fields.”

Adams, a graduate of Springville High School, studies biology at Jefferson State with plans to transfer to UAB to study biomedical sciences. He said he wants to pursue a career in physical therapy research.

“I want to advance the techniques that physical therapists have,” Adams said. “Playing sports in high school was what introduced me to PT. I got hurt a couple of times, and I thought it was cool how they know the functions of the human body—how it works, how it tries to repair itself.”

Adams was introduced to the Goldwater Scholarship Program by Dr. Nicholas Kin and Jefferson State’s Bridges to Baccalaureate program. A requirement for applying for a Goldwater Scholarship is lab experience, which Adams satisfied with an internship at UAB that included research with well-known scientist and the presentation of their findings to the local scientific community.

Adams said he remembers the excitement of opening the email that informed him of his selection as a scholarship recipient.

“I was so happy,” he said. “I told my parents, and they were like, ‘This is just the beginning.’ It was a great day.”

For more information about the Bridges to Baccalaureate program, click here.

About the Goldwater Scholarship Program

The Goldwater Scholarship Program, one of the oldest and most prestigious national scholarships in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics in the United States, seeks to identify, encourage, and financially support college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming this nation’s next generation of research leaders in these fields.

The characteristics the Foundation seeks in a Goldwater Scholar include:

  • Strong commitment to a research career in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering.
  • Effective display of intellectual intensity in the sciences, mathematics and engineering.
  • Potential for a significant future contribution to research in their chosen field.

Goldwater Scholars have gone on to win an impressive array of prestigious post-graduate fellowships, among which are the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Rhodes Scholarship, Marshall Scholarship, Churchill Scholarship, Hertz Fellowship, DOE Computation Science Graduate Fellowship, and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship.

“I am so proud of Jaden, Chandlor, and Melody,” said Nicholas Kin, associate dean for Jefferson State’s St. Clair-Pell City Campus and Bridges to Baccalaureate Coordinator. “It’s great to see their hard work and dedication recognized with a Goldwater Scholarship. All three students participated in our NIH-funded Bridges to the Baccalaureate summer research program.  Coupling that experience with a Goldwater Scholarship will further support their goals of obtaining advanced degrees in STEM-related fields.

“Goldwater Scholarship recipients have a long history of both academic and career success. I’m excited to continue supporting their academic goals and to see all the amazing things they will accomplish in their careers.”

Each Goldwater Scholar annually receives an amount equal to the cost of tuition, mandatory fees, books, and room and board minus the amount of support provided for by other sources, up to a maximum of $7,500 per full academic year. Scholars who receive the award as sophomores can expect to receive support for a maximum of two years (four semesters) or until graduation, if sooner. Scholars who receive the award as juniors can expect to receive support for a maximum of one year (two semesters) or until graduation, if sooner.

For more information, click here.