Four University of Richmond Students - the Most at One Time in the Institution's History - Named Goldwater Scholars

March 28, 2022

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Four University of Richmond students have received Goldwater scholarships, the preeminent undergraduate award in science and math. Four Goldwater Scholars in a single year is the most in UR’s history, and it’s the maximum number of awards Goldwater extends at each competing school. UR was one of 19 institutions and the only school in Virginia with four Goldwater Scholars.

The Goldwater scholarship is open to college sophomores and juniors interested in pursuing careers and fostering excellence in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. This year, 417 Goldwater scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of more than 1,200 students nominated by about 430 colleges and universities nationwide.

The University of Richmond student recipients include:

Andrew Brady

Andrew Brady, a sophomore from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who is double majoring in mathematics and computer science.

Brady is researching partial difference sets in nonabelian groups of order 64, which can be used to create error correcting codes, mathematical objects that can fix errors in electronic communications.

Brady’s research advisor is mathematics professor Jim Davis, who said Brady is one of the top two students he has encountered in more than 30 years of teaching.

“I am super grateful for this award and the many mentors that have allowed me to get to where I am today," said Brady, who intends to pursue a Ph.D. in theoretical computer science and become a university professor.

Harry DangHarry Dang, a junior originally from Saigon, Vietnam, and currently Garden Grove, California, who is majoring in biochemistry & molecular biology and minoring in math and physics. 

Dang’s research in materials science and supramolecular chemistry is focused on the development of cost-effective and portable sensors used by law enforcement, health professionals, and consumers to screen for explosives, drugs, and disease biochemical indicators. Dang, who is also a Beckman Foundation scholar, is the first author of two publications in the Journal of Physical Chemistry A and Langmuir and has presented at three regional American Chemical Society meetings.

Dang’s research advisor, chemistry professor Michael Leopold, said, “Without a doubt, Harry is the single most capable academic student and the most impressive undergraduate researcher I have encountered in my 20-plus year career.”

“This award solidifies my commitment to research and will be instrumental in effecting my long-term career plans as a scientific leader,” said Dang, who plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. and aspires to become a physician-scientist. “It is a testament to the consistent dedication of many professors at UR, especially Dr. Leopold, to my development as a student and a researcher. Research has given me a sense of purpose in life and furthered my professional aspirations.” 

Molly Kate KreiderMolly Kate Kreider, a junior from Franklin, Tennessee, is double majoring in physics and English.

Kreider’s research is in optical physics, the branch of physics that studies the behavior and properties of light. At UR, Kreider’s projects have focused on the thickness and composition of thin films for photonic applications and the use of palladium alloys for opto-electronic devices. Kreider is the first author of a paper published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C and has presented at various American Physical Society conferences and the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics.

Kreider’s research advisor is physics professor Mariama Rebello de Sousa Dias, who said, “Molly Kate always puts extra effort into her work and always has room in her schedule to help others on research matters and other endeavors.”

“I'm so honored to have received this award and so grateful for the support from all of my incredible mentors along the way,” said Kreider, who plans to pursue a Ph.D. in applied physics and teach at the university level. “More than anything, I think this award is a testament to all of the resources and the fantastic support system I have at UR.”

Narmeen RashidNarmeen Rashid, a junior from Midlothian, Virginia, who is double majoring in biology and psychology.

Rashid’s research focus is on breast cancer. She has studied the efficacy of novel therapies and drugs for treating breast cancer and is the first author on a manuscript published in Translational Oncology. She also completed a review on breast cancer liver metastasis, which she published as first author in Clinical & Experimental Metastasis. She is currently submitting her third article as first author looking at mechanisms of acquired resistance to targeted therapeutics in triple-negative breast cancer.

Rashid has conducted her research at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center and taken courses with UR biology professors Jory Brinkerhoff and Dan Pierce, who both recommended her for this award. “Narmeen truly stands out as the top student in terms of research achievements and incredible potential for future scientific excellence,” Pierce said.

“I am extremely grateful to have received this award, and I am humbled to be a part of this group of talented, passionate scientists,” said Rashid, who plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. in cancer biology and focus on research related to new therapies for cancer patients. “This award would not have been possible without the support of my research mentor at VCU, Dr. Chuck Harrell, and my professors at UR. They have all given generously of their time and knowledge. They have challenged me to do my best work and instilled a passion for science."

“We are so proud of Andrew, Harry, Molly Kate, and Narmeen, who remained focused and committed to their work during an incredibly difficult two years,” said Dana Kuchem, director of the Office of Scholars and Fellowships. “To have all four recognized among a large, competitive, and talented candidate pool highlights both the academic caliber of these students and UR’s commitment to faculty-mentored undergraduate research.”

Including these awards, UR has had 36 Goldwater Scholars since the program’s inception in 1986.

# # #