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Announcing Drexel's 2023 Goldwater Scholarship Nominees

March 1, 2023

Congratulations to Drexel's 2023 nominees for the Goldwater Scholarship!

The Goldwater Scholarship recognizes undergraduates in science, math, and engineering fields planning to pursue research careers and with the potential to be leaders in their fields. The scholarship provides funding for their final year or two of undergraduate study. These students were selected to represent Drexel University in the national Goldwater Scholarship competition. We wish them the best of luck!

Marley DownesMarley Downes
materials science and engineering '24

Marley is a fourth-year student in the BS/MS program studying materials science and engineering with a minor in mathematics. She does research with Dr. Yury Gogotsi in the A.J. Drexel Nanomaterials Institute studying a novel type of nanomaterial: MXenes. She also works as a Materials Ambassador, helping mentor incoming students in her department and foster a welcoming environment. After Drexel, she hopes to continue her research career by pursuing a Ph.D.
Marley has been involved in the Pennoni Honors College through the Honors Program, the STAR Scholars Program and Velay Fellows, the SuperNova Undergraduate Research Fellows Program, and as an Undergraduate Research Mini-Grant recipient.

Olivia JonesOlivia Jones
biomedical engineering ‘24

Olivia is a fourth-year student pursuing a BS/MS degree in biomedical engineering, with a concentration in biomaterials. Olivia was a STAR Scholar after her freshman year, where she worked on a filament recycling project for 3D printing. After participating in STAR, Olivia's interest shifted to drug delivery mechanisms, which she pursued as a co-op at the Secant Group, LLC., and continues to study as a research assistant in the Tissue Instructive Materials Lab here at Drexel. After graduation, Olivia plans to pursue a PhD that will allow her to continue to investigate safe and local drug delivery mechanisms in the hopes of making medicine more approachable for everyone.
Olivia has been involved in the Pennoni Honors College through the Honors Program and the STAR Scholars Program.

Anthony LisiAnthony Lisi
chemistry ‘24

Anthony Paul Lisi is a proud first-generation college student pursuing a bachelor's degree in chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry and a minor in biological sciences on the pre-med track at Drexel University. 
Anthony has received honors from Drexel for academic performance, including induction to the Aspire Scholars Program and the Global Engagement Scholars Program. Anthony has also earned additional awards to support his research in the past year, including a Portz Fellowship from the National Collegiate Honors Council, an International Co-op Scholarship Award from Drexel’s Steinbright Career Development Center, and an Organic Chemistry Award from the American Chemical Society, further demonstrating his passion for the field. 
As a freshman Star Scholar, he conducted research under Dr. Irwin Chaiken at the Drexel University College of Medicine in which they synthesized cyclic peptides to inactivate and prevent infection of HIV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 viruses in human cells; Anthony was honored to present his poster for this research at prestigious undergraduate research conferences at Harvard University, Stanford University, and the American Chemical Society, among others. 
Anthony’s first co-op at Adesis, Inc. granted him a look into the career of a PhD chemist, where he developed an understanding of organometallic chemistry and was introduced to state of the art instrumentation.
During his pre-junior year, Anthony and his mentor Dr. Olimpia Meucci worked very diligently to coordinate the first exchange of an undergraduate student between the Drexel University College of Medicine and Sant’Orsola Hospital of the University of Bologna, Italy (UniBo). Together, they successfully established a departmental collaboration with UniBo’s Department of Experimental, Diagnostic, and Specialty Medicine, such that Anthony could complete his second co-op working on his first translational research project focused on studying the biological mechanisms underlying vascular complications in chronic kidney disease patients. Anthony was welcomed back to the University of Bologna to complete his third and final co-op to continue his research and shadowing efforts, providing relevant training at the intersection of research and medicine that will strongly support his upcoming applications to medical school.
Looking forward, Anthony’s goal is to be a physician-scientist, a global citizen, and an engaged international collaborator studying the chemistry of biological systems, where his daily activities in the lab can impact the standard of care, medical practices, and well-being of individuals worldwide.
Anthony has been involved in the Pennoni Honors College as a STAR Scholar, an Aspire Scholar, and an Undergraduate Research Mini-Grant recipient.

Julian MarmoJulian Marmo
electrical engineering ‘24

Julian Marmo is a fourth-year student pursing a degree in electrical engineering. After a career as a fine dining cook, he made the decision to pursue another passion, science and engineering. After obtaining his associate degree in engineering from DCCC, Julian transferred to Drexel University in the winter of 2021. He quickly joined Dr. Gary Friedman in the Plasma and Magnetics Laboratory through the VIP program. A prototype designed and created by Julian led to him being introduced to Dr. Diego Colombara from the University of Genoa, Italy by Dr. Friedman. Julian has joined their collaborative project, REMAP, where his research focuses on designing a method to construct reconfigurable masks to be used in optical projection lithography. His academic interests include quantum computing and physics, solid state physics and material sciences.

Stefan WagnerStefan Wagner
computer science & mathematics ‘24

Stefan is a junior computer science and mathematics student. He first got involved in research at the end of his freshman year, when he reached out to Prof. Edward Kim regarding his interests, which led to his working on a deep learning music generation project throughout the summer of 2020. Throughout the rest of his time at Drexel, he has used the co-op system to his advantage to gain further research experience. Supervised by Prof. Anup Das, he conducted spiking neural network research, exploring new learning algorithms for recurrent SNNs. Most recently, he was involved with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine conducting research in the area of digital pathology under Dr. Mark Zarella, trying to utilize AI for data filtering of Whole Slide Images. He intends to pursue a PhD in computer science centered around machine learning and cognitive modeling on a theoretical level.
Stefan has been involved in the Pennoni Honors College through the Honors Program.

Special thanks to faculty and staff who participated on the Goldwater Campus Committee, working with Undergraduate Research and Enrichment Programs to review and advise nominees on their applications:

Irina Ciobanescu Husanu, PhD, Engineering
Brian Stuart, PhD, Computer Science
Sean O'Donnell, PhD, Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science and Biology
Jaya Mohan, MA, Undergraduate Research & Enrichment Programs

We would like to send an additional thanks to those faculty members who participated in anonymous application review, providing written feedback to the candidates.

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 visit the Goldwater website or contact UREP at