ATLANTA–R. Andrew Sevrinsky, a Georgia State University Honors College student, has been named a Barry M. Goldwater Scholar, one of 252 award recipients nationwide.
Noa Erlitzki, an Honors College junior, earned honorable mention for the Goldwater Scholarship, marking the first time that Georgia State has had two students recognized by the Goldwater Foundation in the same year.
The Goldwater Scholarship is recognized as one of the most prestigious and competitive research scholarships for undergraduate students. The scholarship program, honoring former U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, encourages outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. Since its first award in 1989, the foundation has given 7,680 scholarships worth about $48 million.
“We are extremely proud of both Andrew and Noa as well as the research faculty and Honors College staff who supported and mentored both scholars,” said Larry Berman, founding dean of the Honors College. “This is a tribute to their commitment to undergraduate research with a future of unlimited accomplishment in mathematics and the natural sciences. It also reinforces what we know—when provided institutional support, our students can compete alongside the very best scholars in the country.”
Sevrinsky, a junior majoring in physics, was selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,150 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. The one- and two-year scholarships, awarded to undergraduate sophomores and juniors, cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
“I am grateful to receive the Goldwater Scholarship,” said Sevrinsky, “I am really appreciative to the strong institutional support I received through the Honors College, the Goldwater Campus Committee, and the Physics and Astronomy Department. The faculty, in particular, Dr. Todd Henry, Dr. Wei-Chun Jao and Dr. Misty Bentz, have been incredibly encouraging, supportive and responsible for my development as a researcher.”
A native of Saluda, N.C., Sevrinsky, works with Henry and contributes to research on low mass stars. He also is a teaching assistant in stellar and galactic astronomy and will complete an internship this summer with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He plans to obtain a Ph.D. in astronomy, conduct research to study and characterize the properties of stellar populations and teach at the university level.
“Most stars are low mass stars and have been underexamined due to their intrinsic faintness,” Sevrinsky said. “If we do not understand the most common stars, we cannot understand the structure and evolution of the galaxy as a whole. In particular, we would like to know where to look for planets which will be stable over long periods of time and could potentially harbor life.”
Erlitzki, from Alpharetta, Ga., was one of 256 students who earned honorable mention for the Goldwater Scholarship. Through the College of Arts and Sciences, she is earning a dual degree (B.S./M.S.) in Chemistry and works with Dr. Gregory Poon’s lab as an undergraduate researcher in biophysical chemistry. She recently joined the Women Chemists Committee of the American Chemical Society. Erlitzki plans to obtain a M.D./Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry. Partly due to her experience with Crohn’s disease, she has a strong interest in the molecular basis of inflammatory processes and autoimmune diseases and the translation of this knowledge to new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in the medical field.
“The support I have received as a woman in the sciences at Georgia State and throughout this process has been transformative,” Erlitzki said. “Receiving this award has truly affirmed my educational and career goals.”