Four Drexel Goldwater Scholars!

Huge Congratulations to Drexel’s 2013 Goldwater Scholars – Rishon Benjamin, Emily Buck, Alex Sevit, Andrew Zigerelli. This is the first time in Drexel history that all four nominees received the award, and it’s generally very rare for universities to receive four Scholarships in a year.

Rishon BenjaminRishon Benjamin (Chemical Engineering, PHC ’15) is investigating development of high-efficiency polymer electrolytes for use in fuel cells, with an eye toward making such innovations both clean enough and cheap enough to be practical (advisor: Prof. Yossef Elabd). Rishon was also a STAR student in Dr. Elabd’s lab.

In addition, he conducted research with Dr. Pavel Grinfeld in the Math department. His work there involved the computational and experimental analysis of the behavior of physical systems such as fluid films using MATLAB.

Emily BuckEmily Buck (Materials Science Engineering, PHC ’14) is working on using electrospun polymer nanofibers for water filtration, with a specific interest in making such devices able to accommodate the wide variety of contaminants found in water globally (advisor: Prof. Caroline Schauer). Emily first started her research in Dr. Schauer’s lab through the STAR program.

Alex SevitAlex Sevit (Biomedical Engineering, PHC ’15) first became interested in biomedical research when he began a co-op position at Drexel’s Implant Research Center under Prof. Steven Kurtz. There, he helped initiate a multi-center cardiac pacing lead retrieval program that characterizes the biodegradation of the wires that connect the pulse generator of the pacemaker to the heart wall. Alex presented his research at the 2013 annual meetings of the Heart Rhythm Society and the Society for Biomaterials. His research has since shifted towards development of a novel antibacterial coating on the surface of orthopedic implants to prevent infection.

Andrew ZigerelliAndrew Zigerelli (Mathematics, PHC ’15) is interested in computational mathematics and would like to work on developing models that can effectively represent and manage complex scientific data (advisor: Prof. Thomas Yu).


We would also like to thank the faculty members who served on the Goldwater campus committee and helped the students learn and develop valuable skills throughout the application process. Thank you to Drs. Shivanthi Anandan (Biology), Tim Kurzweg (ECE), J. Doug Wright (Math), Caroline Schauer (MSE), and Luis Cruz (Physics).


The Goldwater Scholarship was established by Congress in 1986, with the goal of recognizing the nation’s top undergraduates in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math fields. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields.