Date April 13, 2021
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Three students win prestigious Goldwater scholarships for excellence in science

Joseph Cavanagh, Thomas Usherwood and Hossam Zaki each received Goldwater scholarships, which support students who plan to pursue research careers in the sciences, mathematics and engineering.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — In recognition of their own outstanding academic achievements and Brown University’s commitment to developing exceptional scholars, three students have earned prestigious national scholarships in honor of their accomplishments as undergraduate science researchers.

Joseph Cavanagh, Thomas Usherwood and Hossam Zaki — all members of the Class of 2022 — each received Goldwater scholarships, which support sophomores and juniors who plan to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering. Brown’s newest Goldwater winners have distinguished themselves as student researchers with distinctive approaches to scientific exploration, said Linda Dunleavy, who advises students applying for graduate scholarships as associate dean of the College for fellowships.

“Each of these student researchers bring to their work a deep understanding of multiple STEM disciplines, with multifaceted perspectives that speak both to Brown's integrative and innovative science curriculum and to their own abilities to make distinctive contributions to scientific research,” she said. “We are thrilled that their unique achievements and potential have earned them this national recognition.”

This year, the program offered scholarships to 410 students selected from among 1,256 applicants nominated by 438 academic institutions. Recipients receive up to $7,500 for their remaining academic years until graduation and gain access to the Goldwater Scholars community, which includes thousands of past recipients who have advanced to science and technology positions at universities, government agencies and companies.

Graduates from the Goldwater Scholars program move on to attended doctoral programs at top research institutions across the country and have a record of earning prestigious postgraduate fellowships: Since the program was established in 1989, its alumni have been awarded 94 Rhodes scholarships, 150 Marshall scholarships, 170 Churchill scholarships and 109 Hertz fellowships.

In the following profiles, Goldwater scholarship winners Cavanagh, Usherwood and Zaki share what brought them to Brown, the real-world questions that drive their research, and the ways that being Goldwater Scholars will help them answer them.

Meet Brown's 2021 Goldwater Scholars