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May 8, 2019

Honors College students earn national STEM scholarship

Two Michigan State University undergraduate students have been named recipients of the nationally competitive Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

Mohit Bansil is an Honors College junior majoring in advanced mathematics in the College of Natural Science and Emily Steffke is an Honors College junior majoring in neuroscience in the College of Natural Science and English in the College of Arts & Letters. They are the 45th and 46th Goldwater Scholarship recipients from MSU, respectively. 

Each year, the Goldwater Foundation seeks scholars committed to a career in science, mathematics or engineering who display intellectual intensity and who have the potential for significant future contribution in their chosen field. Those students are given funding for undergraduate tuition and living expenses.

“I am greatly honored by the Goldwater Scholarship,” Bansil said. “I believe that the Goldwater Scholarship will help me pursue my dream to attend graduate school and excel in mathematics.”

Bansil is from Farmington Hills, Michigan, and graduated from North Farmington High School.

He has been active in various mathematical research opportunities both at MSU and other institutions. In 2017, he won first place in MSU’s Herzog competition, earning him a spot representing MSU in the international Putnam Competition Top 150.

Steffke is from Weidman, Michigan, and graduated from Beal City High School.

She has been active in various neuroscience research opportunities both at MSU and other institutions. Steffke is a member of the MSU women’s cross country and track team, as well as president and co-founder of Reach Outside, an MSU student organization that plans events for MSU students to volunteer with underprivileged children in the Lansing area to help them experience a variety of outdoor sports.

“It is a profound honor to have my research experiences and academic pursuits recognized as being among the top of all undergraduates in the country,” Steffke said. “Winning this award has given me a great boost of confidence in my ability to communicate about my research and academic goals. I am extremely grateful for the guidance of my research mentors and the opportunities Michigan State has provided me as an undergraduate researcher.”

The National/International Fellowships & Scholarships Office, administered by the Honors College, helps interested undergraduate and graduate students pursue major national and international opportunities by providing information and direct support throughout the competitive application processes. 

“On behalf of Michigan State University, I want to congratulate Mohit and Emily for earning the Goldwater Scholarship,” said Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, dean of the Honors College. “Earning this award is a significant acknowledgement of the effort they have made as undergraduate student researchers, in addition to their academic programs.”

By: Stephanie Cepak