College junior Emma Accorsi received the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship earlier this week, an award which recognizes students for excellence in research in science, mathematics and engineering.
Accorsi, an applied mathematics major, is one of 282 scholarship recipients of the Goldwater Scholarship, which provides up to $7,500 for the cost of tuition, books and room and board for the 2012-2013 academic year.
Recipients were selected based on academic merit from a total of 1,123 students who are studying mathematics, sciences and engineering at colleges and universities across the United States, according to a March 2012 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship press release.
“I’m really excited and honored to have won the award,” Accorsi said. “I’m just really thankful for the people I’ve had an opportunity to work with because they’ve been such wonderful mentors to me, and I couldn’t have won the scholarship without their help.”
Accorsi, who is currently conducting research with Chair of the Environmental Studies Department Uriel Kitron, said she decided to apply for the award because she thought completing the application would be a challenge.
She said she was “had no clue” as to whether she was going to be selected.
She noted that she first had to apply for an internal nomination from the University. The Univesity then selected four students to apply for the scholarship nationally.
Part of the application involved writing a detailed essay on her research topic, Accorsi said.
Director of National Scholarships and Fellowships Dee McGraw was not available for comment by press time.
Accorsi is currently conducting research on the transmission of West Nile Virus in urban Atlanta, mosquito mating and swarming behaviors.
Accorsi is additionally a guest researcher in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) insectary.
She explained that she plans on continuing to conduct research on infectious diseases after her college career.
The award will aid in her research, she explained, because it “serves as really nice encouragement that [she is] doing the right thing and moving in the right direction” with her research.
The U.S. Congress established the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in 1986.
The award honors the legacy of Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who served as a soldier and statesmen for 56 years including 30 years in the U.S. Senate, according to the award’s website.
— Contact Jordan Friedman.