Erik Ouellette ’18, a chemistry major and physics minor at the College of the Holy Cross, has been awarded a Goldwater Scholarship for the 2017-2018 academic year.
The Goldwater Scholarship is considered the nation’s premier scholarship for undergraduates studying mathematics, natural sciences, and engineering and is awarded to undergraduate sophomores and juniors based on academic merit. Students selected to be Goldwater Scholars are identified as having outstanding ability and promise, with hopes of pursuing advanced study and research careers.
Ouellette, from Denver, Colorado, was one of 240 students to receive the competitive award, selected among 1,286 students from 2,000 colleges and universities across the country. The scholarship will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
On campus, Ouellette conducts research in the organic methodology lab of Bianca Sculimbrene, associate professor of chemistry, exploring the immunomodulating drug fingolimod, which is currently used for treating multiple sclerosis. Additionally, he conducted research last summer at ebbu, a company in Colorado, studying the separation, purification, and analysis of cannabinoids.
Looking ahead to this summer, Ouellette has accepted an internship at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado.
“My goal is to be able to apply chemistry towards projects in sustainability and clean energy, whether that’s in industry or academia,” Ouellette explains. “As someone who enjoys a lot of what the mountains and outdoors have to offer, I think it’s important to use natural resources in a responsible way so that we’re not destroying the earth around us, and it would be pretty rewarding to be able to use chemistry to approach that issue. Hopefully my upcoming internship experience, combined with the Goldwater and my time at Holy Cross working with Professor Sculimbrene, will prepare me for what the future holds.”
Since 2005, six Holy Cross students have been awarded Goldwater Scholarships.
“This scholarship is one of those awards that sets a student up for his or her career, and is a strong indicator of future success as a research scientist,” says Anthony Cashman, director of the Office of Distinguished Fellowships and Graduate Studies at the College. “Our past winners have all gone on to wonderful careers in the sciences.”
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