Campus Life

Two Aggies Awarded Goldwater Scholarship

Joseph Chen ’23 and Maria del Pilar Ibarra Noriega ’23 have been awarded the prestigious national fellowship for their academic accomplishments and intended research careers.
By Sydnie Harrell , Texas A&M University Undergraduate Studies April 7, 2022

Maria del Pilar Ibarra Noriega ’23 and Joseph Chen ’23
Maria del Pilar Ibarra Noriega ’23 and Joseph Chen ’23

Courtesy photos

Two Texas A&M students were named 2022 Goldwater Scholars by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. Joseph Chen ’23 and Maria del Pilar Ibarra Noriega ’23 were two out of 417 total recipients named Goldwater Scholars from across the United States.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 in memory of former U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater. Goldwater served 56 years as a soldier and statesman, 30 of which were for the U.S. Senate.

To be eligible for nomination for the Goldwater Scholarship, students must intend to pursue a research career in mathematics, natural sciences or engineering, have at least a 3.7 GPA and be a full-time sophomore or junior. Scholarships of up to $7,500 a year are provided to recipients.

Noriega is a psychology major from Houston. In addition to being on the pre-medicine track, she is also double minoring in public health and neuroscience, is a photographer for The Battalion and a peer mentor for the Texas A&M chapter of The Terry Foundation.

“I hope to become a physician-researcher in precision oncology researching the role of environmental exposures and the tumor microenvironment on oncogenic mutations, tumor biology and targeted therapies,” Ibarra Noriega said.

From Missouri City, Texas, Chen is a biology major with a minor in computer science. He is a part of the University Honors Program, a member of the Texas A&M chapter of the American Medical Student Association and is a LAUNCH Undergraduate Research Ambassador. His research interests include neuroscience, neural progenitor cell transplantation and spinal cord injuries.

Chen hopes to “pursue a Ph.D. in neurology or neurotrauma and an M.D. specializing in neurosurgery to conduct research on clinical neural progenitor cell transplantation and teach at a medical school.”

Information about similar fellowship opportunities can be found on the LAUNCH website. Additional recipients of the 2022 Goldwater Scholarship can be found on the Goldwater Scholarship website.

Media contact: Anna Transue, transuea@tamu.edu

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