Brown undergraduates, recent alum win prestigious scholarships

Four current undergraduates and one recent alumnus have been awarded national scholarships, which collectively recognize excellence in academic fields including the arts, humanities, social sciences and STEM.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — In demonstration of their own outstanding academic achievements and Brown University’s commitment to developing exceptional scholars, four current undergraduates and one recent alumnus have earned prestigious national scholarships in recent weeks. 

Class of 2021 student Parker Zane earned a Beinecke Scholarship. Jackson Brook, Class of 2019, was named a Luce Scholar, and Class of 2021 members Nishanth Kumar, Lucas Sanchez and Adam Tropper each received a Goldwater Scholarship. 

Together, the scholarships recognize excellence across the arts, humanities, social sciences and STEM fields.

“The Goldwater, Luce and Beinecke awards recognize excellence in distinctive areas,” said Linda Dunleavy, the University’s associate dean of the College for fellowships. “That our undergraduates and recent alumni have been so successful this year speaks to the depth and rigor of Brown’s unique approach to undergraduate education. Because students design their own curriculum, they push boundaries of creativity, independence and focus in their particular pursuits whether it is science, journalism or scholarship in the humanities.”

The Luce Scholars Program

Established in 1974, the Luce Scholars Program provides emerging leaders with professional experiences that offer opportunities to gain deeper understanding of Asia. Open to college seniors and recent graduates working in fields other than Asian studies, the program provides each scholar with a professional placement in Asia, as well as a stipends and language training.

This year, the program offered scholarships to 18 applicants among 165 candidates nominated by 70 colleges and universities.

Jackson Brook, a 2019 Brown graduate who concentrated in history, has been recognized for his investigative reporting on social justice issues, especially those related to criminal justice systems and the environment. As an undergraduate, his participation in a nine-part Providence Journal series on elder abuse in Rhode Island — completed under the supervision of Tracy Breton, Pulitzer-Prize winner and English professor at Brown — was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service Journalism. After graduation, Brook earned an award from the Overseas Press Club Foundation for his foreign reporting in Rwanda, Cambodia, Chile and Israel.

As a Luce Scholar, Brook intends to investigate the ways that economic and public policy intersect with environmental justice in Asian countries that have been particularly hard-hit by climate change.

The Beinecke Scholarship Program

The Beinecke Scholarship Program awards stipends of $34,000 to juniors who plan to pursue graduate degrees in the arts, humanities or social sciences. The organization has given up to 20 scholarships to students who come from approximately 120 nominating universities every year since it was established in 1975. 

Parker Zane, a current Brown junior concentrating in Egyptology and archaeology, intends to pursue a graduate degree in Assyriology to research the history of ancient science. By studying the ancient world from the perspective of environmental humanities, he hopes to advance understanding of both early civilization and environmental challenges in the world today.  

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship

The Goldwater Scholarship supports sophomores and juniors who plan to pursue research careers in the sciences, mathematics and engineering. Recipients receive up to $7,500 for their remaining academic years until graduation. This year, the program offered scholarships to 396 students selected from a pool of 1,343 applicants representing 461 nominating institutions. 

Nishanth Kumar, a junior computer engineering concentrator from North Carolina, intends to pursue a graduate degree in artificial intelligence. He aims to develop intelligence algorithms that would enable practical and collaborative robots to tackle international challenges, from creating an extraterrestrial habitat on Mars to making nuclear fusion reactors a viable source of clean and safe energy.

Lucas Sanchez, a junior chemistry concentrator from California, plans to earn a graduate degree in chemistry to conduct research in green chemistry, a field focused on developing environmentally friendly chemicals and chemical-production processes. He hopes to create green catalysts to use when developing chemical solutions and to design more efficient solar panels. Sanchez also aspires to teach at the university level.   

Adam Tropper, a junior mathematical physics concentrator from Ohio, intends to pursue graduate study in high energy theoretical physics. He seeks to study fundamental questions about the universe that involve particle and string phenomenology, scattering amplitudes, conformal field theory and dualities.