Alonda Thomas, Alonda.Thomas@Howard.edu
(Black PR Wire) WASHINGTON, -- Howard University junior Alexandria Adigun is the recipient of the 2020 Goldwater Scholarship, a prestigious award from The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. Goldwater Scholarships are awarded to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering. Adigun is the second Howard University student to receive the scholarship.
"We are proud to make this announcement and congratulate Ms. Alexandria Adigun on this great accomplishment," says President Wayne A. I. Frederick. "This is another testament of Howard's commitment to identify global prestigious opportunities and encourage independent inquiry and scholarship through experiential learning and leadership development."
Adigun is a biology major, chemistry and psychology double minor from Houston, Texas. As an inaugural member of the Karsh STEM Scholars program, a Howard University program dedicated to increasing the number of African Americans in STEM, Adigun is on her way to pursuing an M.D./Ph.D. in psychiatry and regenerative biology respectively. The Goldwater Scholarship will support Adigun with up to $7,500 per year until graduation to cover the cost of tuition, books, fees and other expenses.
"It is a great honor to be named a 2020 Goldwater Scholar," says Adigun. "This honor has brought such joy to my heart and to my community amidst a trying time. This award is not just for me, but for every professor, mentor, or friend that has poured into me at Howard University and beyond. I am blessed and humbled to receive this award. Receiving this honor has inspired me to continue my fight to increase the number of black women represented in STEM fields."
Adigun's experiences at Howard University and beyond have shaped her interest in not only pursuing a doctoral degree in stem cell research in order to help combat disease but to also increase the number of minorities in STEM-related fields. She plans to have a multifaceted career, teaching at the university level, conducting research in developmental biology and having a specialized psychiatric practice focusing on anxiety and schizophrenia.
Adigun is a microbiology-trainee, blogger, world traveler, and an active volunteer in the Washington community. She often volunteers with Reading Partners, D.C., an organization that works to increase the literacy rate of children across America in order to better prepare them for the life ahead. While studying abroad in Granada, Spain in 2019, Adigun was recognized by the NGO Solidarios for her contributions as a volunteer in an assisted living facility. Adigun is also involved in several Howard University organizations including the Freshman Leadership Academy, the Ralph Bunche Center Bison Abroad Ambassadors, and Her Campus Howard.
Adigun is also a member of the Thompson Lab in the Howard University College of Medicine, where she assists with experiments investigating the role of RNA modification in the regulation of gene regulation in bacteria.
"The Thompson Lab is very proud of Alexandria's accomplishments," says Dr. Karl Thompson, associate professor of Microbiology in the College of Medicine and Adigun's research mentor. "Alexandria is on track to becoming a great scientist and I can see making great contributions to her chosen field of inquiry in the future."
Adigun has completed internships at Harvard Medical School in developmental biology and was also the first African American to be accepted into the Vienna Biocentre Summer School Program in Vienna, Austria. While there she worked to develop a multicolor labeling system for stem cells in the axolotl midbrain, a model organism for regeneration. Adigun is passionate about interdisciplinary and cross-cultural collaborations and will continue to use her platform to push scientific research forward.
The Goldwater Scholarship is the preeminent undergraduate award of its type in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. Goldwater Scholars have impressive academic and research credentials that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs, such as Rhodes Scholarships, Marshall Awards, Churchill Scholarships, Hertz Fellowships, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, and numerous other distinguished awards.
About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 70 Fulbright Scholars. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.