Sohil Shah, Meghan Turner Named Goldwater Scholars

Three University of Wisconsin-Madison students will receive the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for undergraduate excellence in the sciences, and chemistry major Sohil Shah is among the 2015 recipients.

The students will join approximately 300 sophomores and juniors across the country as new Goldwater Scholars. Three of UW-Madison’s four nominations were accepted for the award.

“Our Goldwater Scholarship recipients exemplify the rich undergraduate research opportunities available on campus in addition to the quality mentoring our students receive from faculty,” says Julie Stubbs, director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Awards. “All four nominees have been engaged in cutting-edge research since their freshman year, and three even participated in university research while they were still in high school.”

UW-Madison’s 2015 Goldwater Scholars are:

  • William A. Mulligan, a junior majoring in biochemistry from Lake Mills, Wis. He hopes to receive a doctorate in biology in order to improve live-imaging techniques to look for links between developing tissues and cancerous tissues. He also aims to teach at the university level.
  • Sohil R. Shah, a sophomore from Madison, Wis., majoring in chemistry, mathematics and economics. He hopes to attain a doctorate in materials chemistry and teach at the university level.
  • Meghan A. Turner, a junior studying biochemistry and mathematics from Beaver Dam, Wis. She hopes to receive a doctorate in biochemistry or biophysics and aims to someday conduct research on the design of antimicrobial agents using structure-based biophysical methods. She is currently an undergraduate researcher working with the Weisshaar group.

A fourth nominee, junior Bailey Flanigan from Madison, Wis., received an honorable mention.

Goldwater Scholars from UW-Madison have historically received other prestigious awards later on in their academic careers. Last year, 2013 Goldwater Scholar Drew Birrenkott received a Rhodes Scholarship, and Joshua Shutter, a fellow 2013 Scholar, received a Churchill Scholarship.

Congress established the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program in 1986. Goldwater, the award’s namesake served in the U.S. Senate for over 30 years and challenged Lyndon B. Johnson for the presidency in 1964. The Program aims to develop highly qualified scientists, engineers and mathematicians through its scholarship award, given to undergraduates pursuing careers in these fields.

Devin Lowe, University Communications