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Students Win Prestigious Goldwater Scholarships

NC State Belltower lit from below with red lighting.

Two NC State students have been awarded Goldwater Scholarships, joining the ranks of the brightest undergraduate researchers in the nation.

The highly competitive scholarship, awarded to 409 college sophomores and juniors, provides up to $7,500 per academic year to cover tuition, fees, books, food and housing. Named for the late Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, the program seeks to strengthen the nation’s leadership in science and technology.

Meet NC State’s 2021 Goldwater Scholars

  • From landslides to asteroids, Jack Featherstone studies the physics of phenomena here on Earth and in outer space. Read Featherstone’s story.
  • Andrew Mistele conducts aerospace engineering research that could lead to improvements in fields such as energy efficiency and drone design. Read Mistele’s story.

NC State has had 62 Goldwater Scholars since the program was established more than 30 years ago.

The 2021 class of Goldwater Scholars includes 206 women and 198 men (not all scholarship recipients reported their gender). Fifty-one scholars are mathematics and computer science majors, 290 are majoring in the natural sciences and 68 are majoring in engineering.

The program allows U.S. colleges and universities to submit up to four nominees for the scholarship each year. From an estimated pool of 5,000 applicants this year, the total number of nominees was 1,256 students representing 438 academic institutions.

All Goldwater Scholarship applicants at NC State received mentorship and support from the university’s Goldwater Scholarship Committee: Larry Blanton, plant and microbial biology; Lisa Bullard, chemical and biomolecular engineering; Kenan Gundogdu, physics; Min Kang, mathematics; and Gavin Williams, chemistry. These faculty members review the students’ applications and suggest ways to strengthen them.

The Goldwater Scholarship requires an institutional nomination obtained through the University Fellowships Office. If you are interested in learning more about this or any other prestigious fellowships, please email