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Two Franklin students named 2017 Goldwater Scholars

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 11:34am

Congratulations to UGA juniors and Honors Program students Morgan Gibbs and Mallory Harris, who are among 240 students across the nation to be recognized as Barry Goldwater Scholars, earning the highest undergraduate award of its type for the fields of mathematics, natural sciences and engineering:

Gibbs and Harris are each studying in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Gibbs, from Peachtree City, is majoring in chemistry and minoring in pharmaceutical sciences. Harris, from Dunwoody, is pursuing mathematical sciences with a concentration in computational biology. Both plan to earn doctorates in their prospective fields.


The scholarship recognizes exceptional sophomores and juniors across the nation. This year, awardees were selected from a field of 1,286 undergraduates who were nominated by campus representatives from 2,000 colleges and universities nationwide. The awardees will receive up to $7,500 toward the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board.


Gibbs plans to obtain a doctorate in medicinal chemistry and intends to pursue a career in the interdisciplinary field of drug discovery and design. Her interests span a wide variety of drug design techniques, and she wants to use these techniques to combat chronic diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's disease.


Gibbs is a trombonist in the Redcoat Marching Band, in the UGA trombone choir and for the volleyball and basketball bands; vice president of the UGA chapter of the American Chemical Society; and a two-time CURO Research Assistant. This summer, she will participate in the National Institutes of Health's internship program. She also participated in the pediatric oncology education internship program at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Harris, a UGA Foundation Fellow, plans to obtain a doctorate in computational biology and aims to conduct research and teach at the intersection of mathematics and biology. After receiving a Ph.D., she hopes to study disease systems at the biochemical and population levels. Specifically, she wants to develop more accurate diagnostic tests and precisely targeted treatment strategies based on genetic indicators, supporting a shift from reactionary to preventive approaches to epidemiology.

A fantastic honor for these students, the Franklin College, the Honors Program and the University of Georgia. Winning scholarships at this level is product of how our academic entities work together to attract and educate some of the best students in the country. Our best wishes to Gibbs and Harris as they continue their fine work at UGA and beyond.

Image: Morgan Gibbs

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