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March 30, 2020

MSU student earns national STEM scholarship

A Michigan State University undergraduate student has been named a recipient of the nationally competitive Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

Isabella Ginnett, an Honors College sophomore majoring in physics and advanced mathematics in the College of Natural Science, is MSU's 47th Goldwater Scholar

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 awarded funding for undergraduate tuition and living expenses.

For the 2020 competition, 1,343 outstanding undergraduates were nominated by 461 institutions. Ginnett was one of 396 scholars selected. The funding for these awards is a collaboration between the U.S. Congress and the Department of Defense’s National Defense Education Program.

“I am incredibly humbled to be named a Goldwater Scholar, and I know that this achievement would not have been possible without the help of my research mentors, my professors, my family and the countless number of individuals who have supported me every step of the way,” Ginnett said. “To be recognized by the Goldwater Foundation is an amazing honor and an incredible opportunity to continue researching in the field that I love: physics. I am excited to continue my research at Michigan State, in graduate school and beyond, and I want to continue to inspire and support the next generation of women in physics.”

Ginnett's research mentors include Kendall Mahn, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at MSU; Tim Bolton, professor of physics at Kansas State University; Glenn Horton-Smith, professor of physics at Kansas State University; and Tyler Cocker assistant professor of physics and astronomy at MSU.

“Isabella is exceptional and entirely deserving of this honor,” Mahn said.

Ginnett is from Aurora, Illinois, and graduated from the Illinois Math and Science Academy.

She has been active in various physics research opportunities at MSU, Kansas State University and the Fermilab National Laboratory. Ginnett is an MSU Resident Assistant and member of MSU's Women's Rugby Football Club.

“On behalf of Michigan State University, I want to congratulate Isabella for earning the Goldwater Scholarship, and thank her mentors for their unwavering support of Isabella and all students with whom they work,” said Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Dean of the Honors College. “Being recognized and celebrated as an accomplished student and undergraduate researcher with a bright future in physics is just one indication of the talent and dedication that she brings to her every endeavor.” 

The National/International Fellowships and Scholarships (NIFS) 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. 

By: Kristin Janka