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Shahil Pema, University of Nevada-Reno Honors student named 2017 Goldwater Scholar

Shahil Pema, Junior at the University of Nevada-Reno, is named 2017 Goldwater Scholar. The Goldwater scholarship is the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering in America. Pema earned this honor due to his stellar academic records, extensive research activities and hard work at the UNR.

“The high caliber of outstanding undergraduate researchers at the University shows that our students are being recognized for their high level of coursework in the STEM area, intense engagement in research, close connections to faculty researchers and community partners, and scientific writing ability,” Tamara Valentine, director of the University’s Honors Program, said.

Pema is a member of the Honors Program and is majoring in biochemistry. Pema’s achievements during his academic career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) coursework have been consistent with the Goldwater goals, and he has been recognized through scholarships and a National Science Foundation grant. As a part of the application process, Pema wrote his Goldwater research essay on “Ecological Determinants of Oviposition in Plutella xylostella after Immunological Challenge.” Pema is looking to pursue a doctorate degree in pharmacogenomics after graduation next May.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986. The scholarship was created to honor Barry Goldwater, who served as a soldier and a statesman for 56 years and 30 years in the United States Senate. The scholarship is awarded to students pursuing advanced degrees in the STEM fields who will then continue their research in these fields. The scholarship awards students $7,500 to be used to help pay for tuition, housing, books and other college expenses.

The Goldwater Scholars were selected based on academic merit from a field of 1,286 natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering students nominated by the campus representatives from among 2,000 colleges and universities nationwide. Of those reporting, 133 of the Scholars are men, 103 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their highest degree objective.

As reported by UNR and Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation

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