Physics major McKenzie Ferrari ‘23 has been named a 2022 Goldwater Scholar, becoming the first recipient of the prestigious recognition in UMass Dartmouth’s history. The highly competitive scholarship was established by Congress in 1986 in honor of Senator Barry Goldwater.
According to its website, the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation’s mission of the program is to identify and support sophomore and junior-level students who show exceptional promise in becoming the nation's next generation of natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering research leaders.
Since its founding, more than 9,800 scholarships have been awarded to nominees across the United States who demonstrate a strong commitment to research as well as their career ambitions. Many of the scholars have presented their research at professional society conferences and have published their research in leading journals.
"I am tremendously proud that the Goldwater Scholarship program has named Mckenzie a 2022 scholar. Mckenzie richly deserves this recognition on the basis of her ground-breaking astrophysical research accomplishments and her stellar academic record,” says Dr. Robert Fisher, physics professor and graduate program Director at UMass Dartmouth’s College of Engineering. “I hope that other UMass Dartmouth students both in the sciences and engineering and in other disciplines will look to Mckenzie's trailblazing achievements and realize that their personal aspirations and dreams are also within their reach."
"I am grateful to my advisor Dr. Robert Fisher and the entire physics department for all of their support over the past few years. Being named a Goldwater Scholar has already connected me with thousands of previous Scholars, all of whom are willing to share advice about their careers and provide support to younger students. I hope to take what I learn from them and give back to the UMassD community," says McKenzie.
McKenzie is also one of 60 students selected nationwide to participate in the Council on Undergraduate Research "Posters on the Hill" event. In April, she will have the opportunity to present her project titled “Synthetic Spectroscopy of Near-Chandrasekhar Mass Type Ia Supernovae from the Double-Degenerate Channel," which sheds light on the structure of the universe. She was recently accepted to the Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory REU, one of the most prestigious astrophysics REU in the nation. Learn more about her research and outcomes during the Posters on the Hill 2022, which will be hosted virtually on April 26 and 27, 2022.