CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Boston College sophomore Maria Asdourian, a biology major whose research interests focus on the neurobiology of Alzheimer’s disease, has been awarded a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, which is considered the premier undergraduate fellowship in the sciences.
Goldwater Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit to the country’s most promising college students in math, science and engineering. This year, 271 sophomores and juniors were selected from among 1,107 nominees. Many Goldwater Scholars go on to earn prestigious post-graduate fellowships, including Rhodes, Marshall and Churchill scholarships, and many others.
“I am grateful for this opportunity,” said Asdourian. “There are so many phenomenal science, math and engineering students throughout the country. It’s an honor to be a part of this group of Goldwater scholars.”
The 2011 graduate of Burlington High School said she was home for the Easter break when she found out she had received the prize, which provides scholarship assistance for two years.
“I think I screamed,” Asdourian said. “My mom was home and she thought there was something wrong. But it was such a surprise. Both of my parents were so happy. It was nice to be home to share it with them.”
Asdourian attributes her interest in biological research, specifically in Alzheimer’s, to the difficult experience of watching her grandfather eventually succumb to the disease.