Junior wins prestigious Goldwater Scholarship for neuroscience study

Stephanie Jackvony '18
Stephanie Jackvony '18

Junior Stephanie Jackvony has been awarded a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, making her the College’s sixth recipient of the prestigious award in the last eight years.

The Goldwater Scholarship, authorized by the United States Congress in 1986 in honor of Senator Barry M. Goldwater, is considered the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering in the U.S. 

Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit to receive a one-year scholarship of up to $7,500. Previous recipients have gone on to receive the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Fellowship, Rhodes Scholarship, Churchill Scholarship and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship.

“The Goldwater is exceptional national recognition for Stephanie and for science education at Connecticut College,” said Dean of the College Jefferson Singer.

Jackvony is a double major in behavioral neuroscience and philosophy with a particular interest in neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience.

“My goal is to become a professor at an undergraduate institution, preferably a small liberal arts school like Connecticut College,” she said.   

At Conn, Jackvony has studied behavioral neuroscience with Associate Professor of Psychology Joseph Schroeder and, as a sophomore, conducted chemistry research with Stanton Ching, the Kelly Professor of Chemistry. That work, involving synthesis and characterization of new manganese oxide nanoparticles, was published in an academic journal with Jackvony as a coauthor.

“I was able to conduct chemistry research and be published in an academic journal after just my first year here. That’s an opportunity that many students [at other colleges] don’t receive until graduate school or even after,” she said.

A summer internship at Bradley Hospital in Rhode Island, the nation’s first psychiatric hospital exclusively for children, nurtured Jackvony’s passion for neuroscience research. There, she conducted neuroscientific literature research and shadowed doctors. 

Jackvony says her professors have provided incredible support throughout her academic career at Conn.

“It is clear that the professors here are extremely passionate about their students’ education and success. They are so willing to welcome students into their labs and take extra steps to prepare them for the world of academia outside of the College,” she said.

As a Goldwater recipient, Jackvony joins an impressive group of Connecticut College graduates, including Christopher Krupenye ’11, Kelsey Taylor ’11, Yumi Kovic ’13 and Leah Fleming ’16. 

Krupenye earned a Ph.D. in evolutionary anthropology from Duke University and is now a postdoctoral researcher at Max Planck, where he is conducting research in the burgeoning field of evolutionary anthropology. Taylor earned a Ph.D. in biological and biomedical sciences at Harvard University and is now a senior analyst at Health Advances. Kovic is currently pursuing a medical degree and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, while Fleming is a graduate student in the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program at Yale University.

In addition to the Goldwater, Connecticut College students have won several other major national grants and fellowships this spring, including five U.S. Fulbright Student Program fellowships, two Critical Language Scholarships, a $10,000 Davis Projects for Peace grant and a Jeff Ubben Posse Fellows Program award.

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April 11, 2017