Mizzou students selected for prestigious STEM award
The competitive national scholarship supports students in the fields of natural sciences, engineering and mathematics
April 6, 2020
Contact: Eric Stann, 573-882-3346, StannE@Missouri.edu
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The STEM careers are looking bright for two University of Missouri students.
Jonathan Fajen and Mollie Harrison have been selected as 2020 Goldwater Scholars by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. This prestigious, competitive national scholarship award supports U.S. college students who intend to pursue a career in research in the fields of natural sciences, engineering and mathematics. Fajen and Harrison are among 396 college students selected as Goldwater Scholars this year from a group of 1,343 nominees.
“Congratulations to two young Missourians, Jonathan and Mollie, on being selected as Goldwater Scholars,” said Jim Spain, MU Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies. “Goldwater Scholars have conducted research that helps in our nation’s defense, cures for diseases, and in the teaching of future generations of STEM researchers. I am excited to see where their Mizzou education leads them and the future contributions that they will make through their work and service.”
Growing up, Mollie Harrison’s career goals ranged from artist to “giant squid researcher.” Upon arriving at Mizzou, she wanted to be a surgeon but shifted her focus to medical research after joining a biomaterials laboratory in the College of Engineering. Now, the junior from St. Louis is on the path to earn her doctorate in chemical engineering. She aspires to conduct advanced drug delivery systems research at the National Institutes of Health, a hospital or in industry. Her goal is to improve and create disease treatments.
“I joined the biomaterials laboratory because I was intrigued by the research focus on solving real world problems in the medical field,” Harrison said. “Receiving this award has given me more confidence to believe that I could be a leader in my field one day. I am so grateful to all of my family, professors, advisors and peers who have supported me throughout my career exploration.”
Jonathan Fajen is the oldest of five children in his family. To support himself through college, he knew that he would have to take his studies seriously. Thanks to a fellowship with the Department of Chemistry at Mizzou, Fajen discovered he wanted to be a chemist for his future career. Now, the senior from Columbia is on the path to earn his doctorate in chemistry.
“Beginning the summer before my freshman year at Mizzou, I was able to conduct research through a chemistry department fellowship at MU,” Fajen said. “The work was eye-opening for me, and I knew before I started taking classes at Mizzou that I wanted to pursue research in chemistry as a career. Being a Goldwater Scholar is a tremendous honor that is not only a reflection upon my hard work, but also the contributions of many others who support me.”