Science students earn Goldwater honors

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Sebastian Ramirez

Two students in the College of Science have won the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. Sebastian Ramirez and Summer Saraf will receive $7,500 for their senior year.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students interested in pursuing careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering. The award is based on academic merit. This year, 278 sophomores and juniors were selected from 1,111 nominees. 

Ramirez, a biochemistry major, has conducted research with Suzanne O’Handley, associate professor of chemistry, focusing on the cloning, purification and structural determination of enzymes from the HAD superfamily. He has also conducted biophysics research in the laboratory of George Thurston, associate professor of physics.

Saraf, a physics major, has conducted research on the physics of granular materials in a wedge hopper with Scott Franklin, associate professor of physics. She presented her research results at meetings of the American Physical Society, the Division of Fluid Dynamics and the New York Complex Matter Workshop.

The research Saraf is also working on in Thurston’s lab uses light scattering to study interactions of two of the eye lens proteins associated with the molecular origins of cataract disease.

Saraf and Ramirez plan to pursue doctoral degrees and careers in academia.