Five Undergraduates Named Goldwater Scholars

News subtitle

The awards support outstanding research in STEM fields.

Goldwater Scholars
The five undergraduates named 2024 Goldwater Scholars are, clockwise from upper left, Liam Nokes ’25, Tristan Wells ’25, Tunmay Gerg ’25, Sarah Watson ’26, and Caleb Liu ’24.

For the second time in three years, five undergraduate students have been awarded Goldwater Scholarships in recognition of their outstanding promise in science, technology, engineering, and math research.

“I’m thrilled that, once again, all five of our nominated students received the scholarship,” says Christie Harner, assistant dean of faculty for fellowship advising. “To see such success on campus is a wonderful testament to undergraduate involvement in STEM research across disciplines.”

The scholarship, named in honor of the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Arizona, “seeks to identify and support college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming this nation’s next generation of research leaders” in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics, according to the program’s website.

The program is among the oldest and most competitive of its kind in the United States. For 2024, some 5,000 college sophomores and juniors were nominated by 446 academic institutions. Only 438 were chosen.

Each Goldwater Scholar annually receives recognition and up to $7,500 per full academic year. The scholars from Dartmouth are:

Tunmay Gerg ’25, a physics and astronomy major, is a presidential scholar and an undergraduate research assistant under Professor of Physics and Astronomy Chandrasekhar Ramanathan, Assistant Professor of Engineering Mattias Fitzpatrick, and physicist Robyn Millan, who holds the Margaret Anne and Edward Leede ’49 Distinguished Professorship.

“I will pursue a Ph.D. in Quantum Science and Engineering, aspiring to develop robust hardware platforms for quantum computing applications in either academia or industry,” Gerg says.

Caleb Liu ’24, a chemistry major, is a presidential scholar, an undergraduate research assistant, and an honors thesis grant recipient. He has conducted research under Associate Professor of Chemistry Chenfeng Ke, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Wenlin Zhang, and McGill University Associate Professor of Chemistry Linda Reven. 

Liu plans to pursue a PhD in materials chemistry or computational materials chemistry. “After this, I want to become a professor, teaching classes and leading a research group investigating applicable advanced materials.”

Liam Nokes ’25, whose declared majors are environmental studies and mathematics modified with biology, is a presidential scholar and participated in the environmental studies foreign studies program in South Africa. Nokes is a research assistant in the lab of Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Bala Chaudhary

Nokes plans to pursue a PhD in microbial ecology and “conduct research on the ecology and evolutionary biology of microbial communities, especially fungi. In the long term, I hope to teach at the university level.”

Sarah Watson ’26, a biology and French studies double major, is a presidential scholar, a member of the Nathan Smith Society, a religious literacy fellow at the William Jewett Tucker Center,  and a Women in Science research intern. She is a research assistant in the Gaur Laboratory under Geisel Assistant Professor of Neurology Arti Gaur

Watson is pursuing an MD/PhD in neuroimmunology and plans to “conduct research on inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases and work with patients and pharmaceutical companies to develop precision medicine approaches.”

Tristan Wells ’25, a biology major, is a Stamps Scholar, a participant in the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center’s Class of 1964 Policy Research Shop, and an undergraduate research assistant in Chaudhary’s lab.

Wells plans to pursue a PhD in ecology and evolution, “conduct ecological research, and teach at the university level.”

To learn more about how to apply for Goldwater and other scholarships, visit Dartmouth’s Fellowship Advising Office.