Montana Tech Student Awarded Prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship


Montana Technological University undergraduate Baylie Phillips has been awarded the 2022 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. The award is the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship awarded in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering in America.

Phillips, a junior majoring in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, is mentored by Jerry Downey, Professor and Department Head of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering; Avimanyu Das, Associate Professor in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering; and Zach Cordero, Assistant Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics in the School of Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her research has encompassed a broad array of disciplines but is focused on exploring the complete life cycle of material, from fabrication, testing and evaluation, secondary processing techniques, and ultimately removing materials from environmental systems. After completing her degree programs, Baylie plans to pursue a doctorate in Materials Science.

Jerry Downey, Professor and Department Head, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, added, “On behalf of the Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department, I congratulate Baylie Phillips on receiving the highly prestigious Goldwater Scholarship for 2022. I cannot imagine a worthier or more deserving candidate for this honor. Baylie is an exceptional student and we are extremely proud and fortunate to have her in our Department. Way to go, Baylie!”
“I am extremely honored and grateful to receive this award. I want to thank everyone who supported my endeavors as a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship applicant,” noted Phillips. “The Goldwater scholarship committee and Montana Tech helped make this opportunity possible. I would also like to thank my research mentors Jerry Downey, Avimanyu Das, and Zachary Cordero, for planting the seed of my interests in material science research. Additionally, I want to thank my family and friends who continuously support all of my goals.”
Dr. Les Cook added, "Earning a Goldwater Scholarship is an enormous accomplishment that brings pride and distinction to our entire campus. Baylie and her team of faculty mentors represent the best of Montana Tech. I look forward following Baylie’s journey and seeing the many ways she will make an impact on our campus and beyond. She is the epitome of all that is good about working in higher education and this recognition is well deserved."

The Goldwater Board's Trustees increased the number of Goldwater scholarships for the 2022 -2023 academic year to 417 college students from across the United States. "The Department of Defense's continued partnership with the Goldwater Foundation ensures we are supporting the development of scientific talent essential to maintaining our Nation's competitive advantage," said Dr. Jagadeesh Pamulapati, Acting Deputy Director of Research, Technology and Laboratories, who oversees the NDEP program, as he explained the partnership. The 2022 awards bring the number of scholarships awarded since 1989 by the Goldwater Foundation to 9,870.

From an estimated pool of over 5,000 college sophomores and juniors, 1,242 natural science, engineering, and mathematics students were nominated by 433 academic institutions to compete for the 2022 Goldwater scholarships. Of students who reported, 175 of the Scholars are men, 234 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their highest degree objective. Forty-five Scholars are mathematics and computer science majors, 308 are majoring in the natural sciences, and 64 are majoring in engineering. Many scholars have published their research in leading professional journals and have presented their work at professional society conferences.

The one and two-year scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

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.

Montana Tech nominated two students for the 2022 award. The nominees were Phillips and Kylie Marks, a sophomore in biochemistry. Phillips joins the following Montana Tech students who received the Goldwater Award or Honorable Mention: Frankie Johnston (2021), Kathryn Bozer (2020), Brent Sordo (2018), Levin Mullaney (2018, Honorable Mention), Molly Brockway (2016), Macy Ricketts (2015 Honorable Mention), Jordan Leone (2014, Honorable Mention), Ryan Hensleigh (2014, Honorable Mention), Joe Mitzel (2013), Robert Hark (2012), Chris Dienes (2007), Calley Jones (2000), and Ariane Erickson (2011, Honorable Mention).

Dr. Marisa Pedulla chairs Montana Tech's National Student Awards Committee (NSAC), supporting Montana Tech students for major national and international scholarships. Founded in 2006, NSAC's mission is to create a campus community that fosters and supports outstanding Montana Tech students throughout their education and to nominate and assist top students in preparing applications for prestigious National Awards. "The NSAC comprises talented and dedicated faculty and staff helping Montana Tech's outstanding undergraduates realize their potential and be recognized for their accomplishments. Working with these students and NSAC members has been a tremendously rewarding endeavor," explained Pedulla. "It's exciting and motivating to work closely with the student nominees and dedicated committee members in preparing applications. Baylie's recognition by the Goldwater Foundation is incredible for her and the entire Montana Tech community. It is a testament to the mentorship provided by her mentors and our campus's support."

Two Montana Tech students, Jack Stratton (2009) and Casey Clark (2011) were finalists for the Rhodes Scholarship. Montana Tech 2010 chemistry alum Cory Sonnemann, who graduated from Pacific Northwest University College of Osteopathic Medicine, won a National Health Service Corps Scholarship. Katie Tabaracci, Joe Mitzel, and Ivan Sljivar, all Montana Tech alumni, won the NAIA Dr. LeRoy Walker Champions of Character Award.

Former Montana Tech Chancellor Dr. W. Franklin Gilmore served as President of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation from 2012 to 2015. The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on November 14, 1986. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics. The Goldwater Scholarship is the preeminent undergraduate award in these fields.

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