Students from UNC-CH win Goldwater Scholarships

UNC-Chapel Hill Communications

UNC-Chapel Hill students Scott Emmons and Sarah Miller won $7,500-a-year scholarships on Friday after being named 2017 Goldwater Scholars.

The award covers eligible educational expenses to students who excel in academics and plan to pursue research careers in science, mathematics, engineering and computer disciplines.

“My congratulations go to Scott and Sarah on their recognition from the prestigious Goldwater Foundation,” Chancellor Carol Folt said. “They are prefect examples of the next generation of innovative researchers and problem solvers who will make an impact on a global scale.”

For 2017, the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program selected 240 scholarship recipients. Emmons and Miller were chosen from a field of 1,286 students nominated by 470 colleges and universities nationwide.

Emmons, 20, is a sophomore from Bloomington, Ind., majoring in computer science and mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is a Robertson Scholar and an Honors Carolina student.

At Carolina, he’s performed research in visualization of microbiome data, and is now researching on network theory. He spent last summer teaching middle school math in the Mississippi delta.

Miller, 20, is a junior from Wilmington, majoring in chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences with a business administration minor in the Kenan-Flagler Business School.

She has been doing research on a non-coding RNA that regulates the transition to a differentiated (non-stem cell) fate in embryonic stem cells. She expects to be able to publish this work in the coming year.

Miller plans to pursue an M.D. and a Ph.D. in epigenetics and hopes to conduct research regarding long non-coding RNA.

Joshua Gray, a third-year student from Raleigh, was awarded an Honorable Mention.

Congress established the Goldwater scholarship program in 1986 to honor the late U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona. The first awards were given in 1989.