UD’s Alexandra Bayles awarded prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

9:09 a.m., April 16, 2012–University of Delaware junior Alexandra Bayles, a chemical and biomolecular engineering major, has earned a scholarship from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

The scholarship program, which honors the late U.S. Sen. Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona, aims to inspire outstanding science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students to pursue STEM-related careers. It is the premier undergraduate award of its kind, providing awardees up to $7,500 per year toward tuition, fees, books and room and board costs.

According to the press release, the 282 Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,123 students who were nominated by faculty members of colleges and universities nationwide.

Bayles, a University Honors Program student from Severna Park, Md., learned of her selection while on spring break with friends in Deep Creek, Md.

“I was ecstatic and deeply humbled. I’ve been fortunate to have many opportunities throughout my education and to be recognized for my work at UD. Learning about the scholarship and being surrounded by close friends in the same moment left me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for everything in my life,” she remarked.

Bayles’ research involves studying the stability of partially crystalline particles within different emulsion systems. She said the scholarship would “open up new opportunities” and help her “qualify for top graduate programs and fellowships.”

She plans to pursue her doctorate in chemical engineering concentrating on transport phenomena, potentially with a focus in fluid mechanics or rheology. Ultimately, Bayles said she hopes to teach at a university and conduct renewable energy research.

In particular, Bayles thanked her undergraduate research adviser Eric M. Furst, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering; Kelly M. Schultz, a UD doctoral graduate, and the members of the Furst Research Group, for serving as “inspirational mentors” since her freshman year.

“The progress I’ve made in my research during the last three years would have been impossible without their advice and insight,” she said.

Additionally, she acknowledged UD alumnus Patrick Spicer, technical section head, and the members of the Complex Fluids Microstructure Group at Procter and Gamble Co., who co-advised her undergraduate work, as well as the chemical engineering faculty and her parents and brother “for their encouragement and support.”

Honorable mention

Joseph W. Morris, a UD sophomore and Honors Program student from Downingtown, Pa., received an honorable mention from the Goldwater Foundation.

Morris is a biological sciences major in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is researching prostate cancer metastasis to bone in the Laboratory for Cancer Ontogeny and Therapeutics under the mentorship of Robert Sikes, associate professor of biological sciences.

His professional goals include pursuing a doctoral degree in molecular biology toward a research career in cancer biology, and teaching at the university level.

Article by Karen B. Roberts

Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

BiomedicalGoldwater Scholar: Alexandra Bayles