Students Selected as Goldwater Scholar and Honorable Mention
Two Grinnell College students have been recognized by the prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program. Nina Galanter ’18 has been named a 2017 Barry Goldwater Scholar and Minu Bidzimou ’18 has received a 2017 Honorable Mention.
This year, 240 students nationwide received a Goldwater scholarship and 307 nominees were named Honorable Mentions from 1,286 applicants. Congress established the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Program to encourage excellence in science and mathematics for American undergraduate students with excellent academic records and outstanding potential.
Goldwater Scholars receive up to $7,500 toward tuition and other expenses for the academic year. Grinnell College students are frequent recipients of Goldwater honors, with seven students being named Goldwater Scholars and seven students receiving honorable mentions since 2010.
Galanter, a mathematics and statistics major from Northbrook, Illinois, is studying abroad this semester at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In her application for the Goldwater scholarship, she included an essay titled "Machine Learning for the Classification of Toxicological Endpoints," based on research she conducted last summer as part of the North Carolina State University Research Experience for Undergraduates in Modeling and Industrial Applied Mathematics. She presented her findings at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Atlanta in January.
At Grinnell, Galanter has been an active leader, serving as a member of the Math Student Educational Policy Committee, a community meal coordinator and an editor of a satirical student newspaper, the B&S. She is also involved with the Food Recovery Network, Chalutzim, and Active Minds.
After graduation, she plans to take a gap year in a service program such as Americorps, and then pursue a doctorate in statistics. Ultimately, she hopes to become a professor.
Bidzimou, a chemistry major from Silver Spring, Maryland, is a Posse Scholar and a student researcher in the lab of Associate Professor of Chemistry Stephen Sieck. Bidzimou's research focuses on organic synthesis.
"What I particularly enjoy about research are the unexpected results — often signs that a reaction did not work," he said. "In those instances, I have the opportunity to improve my critical thinking skills and understand the complexity of the project at a greater depth." Bidzimou plans to apply to masters/doctorate programs during his senior year. His ultimate goal is to to conduct research in drug discovery and work in academic medicine.
At Grinnell, he is active as an organic chemistry mentor, a member of the men’s soccer team, and founder and president of the Wrestling Club. In addition, he is a member of both Concerned Black Students and the African and Caribbean Student Union. He previously worked as a tutor and mentor in the Science Learning Center.