Undergrad wins prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

Andrea Antoni

Andrea Antoni, an undergraduate student at UC Santa Cruz, has been named a 2017 Goldwater Scholar by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

The Goldwater Scholarship is a prestigious national competition for undergraduates in the fields of mathematics, science, and engineering. The scholarships provide up to $7,500 per year for sophomores and juniors from across the country to cover the costs of tuition, fees, books, and other expenses.

The foundation awarded 240 scholarships this year, selecting the scholars on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,286 students nominated by representatives of colleges and universities nationwide.

Antoni is a junior majoring in physics (astrophysics). Since participating in the Lamat Summer Undergraduate Research Program in 2015, she has been working on astrophysics research projects with Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, professor and chair of astronomy and astrophysics, and graduate students Morgan MacLeod, Ariadna Murguia-Berthier, and Phillip Macias. Their recent collaboration, studying the common envelope phase in the evolution of close binary systems, resulted in a paper published March 20 in the Astrophysical Journal. Antoni's career goal is to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics so she can conduct research in theoretical astrophysics and teach at a research university.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater. The scholarship program was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.