For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

2016 Goldwater Nominees

February 5, 2016

Congratulations to Drexel's nominees for the 2016 Goldwater Scholarship – Nicholas Barber, Edward Callaghan, Carli Moorehead, and Valerie Niemann.


Nick Barber Nicholas Barber (BS Geoscience ’18, Honors) is a third year geoscience student minoring in chemistry and President of the OUR Undergraduate Research Leaders program. Nick began undergraduate research experience in the Drexel Paleontology lab, first as a volunteer and continuing as a 2014 STAR student researcher. Under the guidance of Dr. Ken Lacovera and PhD candidate Anna Jaworski, Nick studied the relationship between grain size parameters and sediment transfer dynamics along barrier islands in the Delaware Bay. This experience was transformative for Nick, who then pursued a research co-op working with Dr. Jerry Mead at the Academy of Natural Sciences on a project to build a model of freshwater stream energetics. Nick is currently conducting research with Dr. Loÿc Vanderkluysen in the BEES department on the chemical evolution of the Deccan Trapps large igneous province in Western India. Nick plans to pursue a PhD in Geochemistry, focusing his research on trace element geochemistry. He hopes to study the evolution and origin of plate tectonics on Earth, with a focus on fieldwork in Southeast Asia.


Ed CallaghanEdward Callaghan (BS Physics ’17) is a fourth-year physics student focusing on experimental particle physics. As a freshman, he worked with Dr. Charles Lane studying the degradation of photomultiplier tube performance in magnetic fields. Since, he has spent time at SNOLAB, working on the SNO+ neutrino detector and MiniCLEAN dark matter detector under Joshua R. Klein of the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, he performs cosmic-ray research using the IceCube neutrino telescope under Dr. Naoko Kurahashi-Neilson, and studies radioactive backgrounds in the MiniCLEAN detector. For his up-coming co-op, he will doing R&D work on the nEXO detector at SLAC, under Dr. Michelle Dolisnki. In the future, he plans to design advanced particle detectors, and contribute to the search for particle dark matter.


Carli MooreheadCarli Moorehead (BS/MS Biomedical Engineering/Materials Engineering ’17) is a fourth year biomedical engineering student who will complete a Master’s thesis in materials engineering, under the guidance of Dr. Michele Marcolongo. Carli’s first experience with research was as a STAR researcher with Dr. Ken Barbee, studying the effect of nitric oxide on wound healing. She is currently conducting research on both bulk ceramics – studying strong magnetic fields can be used to engineer microstructure through co-ops at the Army Research Lab – and synthetic proteoglycans – as a student researcher in the Drexel Biomaterials Lab studying collagen-proteoglycan interactions. Carli plans to pursue a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering, focusing on bioceramic-based composite design for tissue regeneration and drug delivery.


Valerie NiemannValerie Niemann (BS Chemical Engineering ’18, Honors) is a third year chemical engineering student minoring in physics. Valerie began her research in Drexel’s STAR program, studying MXenes with Dr. Barsoum. She is currently working with Dr. Aaron Fafarman in the Drexel Nanocrystal Solar Lab to optimize perovskite materials for stability and non-toxicity, with the goal of implementing them into photovoltaic devices. For her first co-op, Valerie conducted research under Dr. Michael Bredol at the University of Applied Sciences in Münster, Germany, working on hydrogen evolution reaction catalysis for potential fuel cell applications. For her next co-op, she will be working with researchers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi on a project to design cooling system for electronic components. After graduation, Valerie plans to pursue a PhD in chemical engineering and become an internationally-engaged researcher in the fields of photovoltaics and solid-state physics. Among her other passions are running, reading German poetry, and traveling. 

Special thanks to faculty who participated on the Goldwater Campus Committee, working with the Fellowships Office during the fall and winter terms to review applications, conduct interviews, and advise nominees on their applications:

  • Caroline Schauer, Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering  
  • J. Douglas Wright, Associate Professor, Mathematics
  • Michelle Dolinski, Assistant Professor, Physics
  • Rick McCourt,Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science;Associate Curator of Botany, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

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.

For more information about the Goldwater Scholarship, please email Dr. Meredith Wooten, Director, Drexel Fellowships Office.