Central College News

Central Student Named Goldwater Scholar

Featured: Central Student Named Goldwater Scholar

April 22, 2020

A Central College student has been named a 2020 Goldwater Scholar in a prestigious national competition that recognizes undergraduates for outstanding achievements in the fields of mathematics, science and engineering.

Katelyn Wang, a member of the Class of 2021, is the first Central student to win the competitive Goldwater Scholarship since it was founded.

Wang is a double major in biochemistry and Spanish from Minneapolis, Minnesota, with a 4.0 GPA. She also competes on Central’s women’s soccer team. In 2019, Wang was included on an impressive national list of student-athletes honored for their academic and athletic accomplishments by the magazine Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

After graduating from Central, Wang’s goal is to obtain a medical or doctorate degree and conduct clinical research at an academic medical center.

Wang’s mentors at Central are James Shriver, professor of chemistry, and Katelin Valster, lecturer of exercise science and pre-health programs advisor.

“We are not surprised to see a Central student among the nation’s top STEM scholars,” says Mary E.M. Strey, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty. “This well-deserved recognition is especially celebratory news at these unprecedented times. The award not only verifies Katie’s extraordinary efforts in academics and research, it also recognizes the exceptional mentorship by our faculty.”

The scholarships are awarded by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in STEM research. In 2020, a total of 396 Goldwater scholars were selected from a field of more than 1,300 nominees representing 461 institutions. Award recipients this year also include four students from Iowa State University and the University of Iowa. Wang is the only student from an Iowa liberal arts college to earn the scholarship in 2020.

The scholarships provide up to $7,500 per year for sophomores and juniors from across the country to cover the costs of tuition, fees, books and other expenses.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established in 1986. The scholarship program honors Senator Barry Goldwater and was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in the fields of the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics.