Two Mavericks who received the Barry Goldwater Scholarship Award were among 417 students from across the county to receive the award.
For the second time in UNO history, the two students were nationally recognized as pioneers in the fields of natural science, mathematics and engineering.
When UNO’s scholarship winners were announced, both sophomore Brandon Villanueva-Sanchez and junior Maia Bennet celebrated quietly.
“My lab meeting started at 11, so they were supposed to start the meeting while I got my results,” Villanueva-Sanchez said. “But right before we started the lab meeting, I got an email that said Goldwater 2022. I opened it and read the first line saying ‘congratulations.’ I turned to my mentor, I’m trying not to freak out because there’s like 20 other people in the room, and I’m just like, ‘I got the Goldwater,’ and he gave me a high five.”
Bennet received the news about the scholarship while participating in a panel for the College of Arts and Sciences.
“I was able to celebrate quietly with my mentor about 15 minutes after the Goldwater list was released,” she said
Those who receive the scholarship are given up to $7,500 each semester to help with the expenses of tuition, fees, books and room and board for up to two years.
To be considered for the scholarship, applicants must be skillful in their academic and extracurricular activities and provide an essay about what they are doing in their research.
“We did have some applicants who did not receive an award and that’s always a struggle every year,” Lucy Morrison, director of UNO’s Office of National Scholarship and Fellowships, said. “But these students are investing in themselves by doing the application because they will learn about themselves, their career goals, their pathways, and it sometimes helps to narrow that focus. You learn about yourself, and you realize what you’ve already done, and all our applicants had outstanding research experiments already.”
Students interested in applying for the Goldwater Scholarship or similar national scholarship opportunities should contact the UNO Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships at UNOonsf@unomaha.edu.