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Spelman Student Awarded Prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

April 2020

Joya SimsJoya Sims, C'2022, a sophomore mathematics major, was recently awarded a 2020 Barry Goldwater Scholarship, one of the oldest and most prestigious scholarships for natural sciences, engineering and mathematics students in the United States. 

From an estimated pool of over 5,000 college sophomores and juniors, 1343 natural science, engineering and mathematics students were nominated by 461 academic institutions to compete for the 2020 Goldwater scholarships. Sims is one of 396 college students from across the country to be selected and will receive a $7,500 stipend.

Sims' Road to Success

joya simsSims did not achieve this tremendous milestone without hard work and perseverance. The Atlanta native worked diligently alongside Dean DeKimberlen Neely, Ph.D., and Special Academic Programs Manager Stacy Washington to prepare a competitive application for the Goldwater Scholarship.

She initiated contact with Spelman College's Office of Undergraduate Studies after receiving a recruitment email on June 21, 2019. She also followed all of the internal processes including: submitting a pre-application in September, describing her research successfully during the office's internal interview process, working closely with her faculty mentors, Drs. Schumacher and Zhao, and writing multiple drafts. Ultimately, Sims' late nights and hard work paid off. 

Start of QuoteThe intensive individualized attention we offered to Joya could not have happened without the amazing Dean Team. Thank you Deans Pedescleaux and Baxter for seeing our students and allowing us to shut our doors to work with all of the Goldwater applicants," said Dean Neely. 

In addition to Sims, two other Spelman students competed for the 2020 award -- Hannah Price and Aku Temeng. "While the other two students were not selected as scholars, they too put forth tremendous effort to submit competitive applications," said Dean Neely.

Dominque Mosley, another impressive Spelman scholar, was named a Goldwater Scholarship winner in 2019. 

Joya SimsA Career in Biomedical Sciences 

Sims' career goal is to achieve her M.D./Ph.D. in biomedical sciences. She is eager to be a leading nephrologist (A nephrologist is a type of doctor that specializes in treating diseases of the kidney) at a teaching hospital. She plans to conduct translational research on glomerular diseases and promote the importance of kidney health.

About the Goldwater Scholarship

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on November 14, 1986. The scholarship program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in the fields of the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics. The Goldwater Scholarship is the preeminent undergraduate award of its type in these fields.

Goldwater Scholars have impressive academic and research credentials that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs. The Scholars have been awarded 93 Rhodes Scholarships, 146 Marshall Scholarships, 
170 Churchill Scholarships, 109 Hertz Fellowships, and numerous other distinguished awards like the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

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