Three NC State Students Earn Nation’s Most Prestigious STEM Scholarship
Jon Palmer, Daniel Haller, and Noah Wolfe have each excelled in the sciences at NC State, and it has not gone unnoticed. Recently, all three students received the Goldwater Scholarship—the most prestigious and competitive undergraduate award for STEM students in the country.
“Each university is only allowed to nominate four students to submit for consideration, which conveys the great accomplishment of having three awardees,” said Courtney Hughes, director of NC State’s University Fellowships Office. “This comes after significant effort. The students spent months working with the University Fellowship Office, faculty advisors, and the Goldwater Scholarship Committee to draft, edit, and refine their application materials prior to submission. They are to be highly commended for this achievement.”
Palmer is a junior from Matthews, N.C., majoring in chemistry. While at NC State, he has conducted extensive research on solar energy. After graduation, he plans to earn a Ph.D. and become a college professor while also continuing his research on solar energy and how it can be used to solve real world problems.
Palmer has received multiple honors for his work in the chemistry department. He is a recipient of the CRC Press Chemistry Freshman Achievement Award, given to one first-year student in the Department of Chemistry each year in recognition of outstanding scholastic achievement. As a sophomore, he received the George Barthalmus Undergraduate Research Grant, given to sophomores in recognition of early involvement in undergraduate research, as well as for the design of an independent research project that exhibits significant creativity and scientific thinking. He has also received the G. H. Satterfield Chemistry Scholarship, which is given to students who show significant academic merit and dedication to research.
In addition, Palmer is a member of Alpha Chi Sigma Professional Chemistry Fraternity and the Chemistry Honors Program.
“The Goldwater Scholarship has become a crucial step in solidifying my plans as a future research scientist,” Palmer said. “I have always felt like deciding a series of career goals was a daunting task with unlimited options, but the application process really pushed me to develop my aspirations to become a professor. Receiving this award has only reaffirmed my choices and fueled my desire to conduct research, so I am immensely appreciative of the Goldwater process as a whole.”
A sophomore from Waxhaw, N.C., Haller is pursuing a degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering. He is also minoring in both biotechnology and mathematics. He is interested in global health, and his research at NC State has focused on infectious diseases and developing methods to engineer the human gut microbiome.
Haller is also very involved on campus. He is founder and president of the Science Olympiad Alumni Organization, and leads a team of students in developing event content for the North Carolina Science Olympiad, a nonprofit organization that aims to retract and retain K-12 students interested in science, technology, engineering, and math. He is also an Honors and Scholars Village Fellow and is a founding member and sponsorship committee head for NC State’s Mix, the TEDxNCState planning committee. In addition, he is a Park Scholarship recipient and a member of the University Honors Program.
Off campus, Haller is principal oboist for the Raleigh Civic Chamber Orchestra.
“I am so honored to be awarded a Goldwater Scholarship recipient!” Haller said. “This opportunity will help me achieve my goal of going to graduate school, entering academia, and conducting synthetic biology research with impacts on global health. I am particularly grateful to my mentors—Dr. Nathan Crook, Dr. Robert Grossfeld, and Dr. Elisabeth Brown—for their guidance and to the Park Scholarships program for their constant support and encouragement.”
Wolfe is a sophomore from Mooresville, N.C., majoring in physics and astronomy. At NC State, he has worked with professor Carla Fröhlich to investigate neutron stars and the nuclear EoS through supernovae simulations. Outside of the university, he has conducted research with renowned astrophysicist Elena Murchikova and initiated a new international collaboration with Sarah Gossan, a postdoctoral fellow for the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, to create signal templates for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.
In addition to his research, Wolfe is the president of NC State’s Astronomy Club. He also serves on the Park Scholarships Class of 2022 Legacy Committee and is a member of the University Scholars Program.
“I am incredibly honored to have been awarded a Goldwater Scholarship,” Wolfe said. “It is exciting to be recognized for the research that I have done, and this award will help me pursue my goal of earning a doctorate and conducting research in computational astrophysics. I am extremely grateful for the guidance and encouragement from my mentors at NC State, including Dr. Carla Fröhlich, Dr. James Kneller, and Dr. Lex Kemper.”
For more information about the University Fellowships Office and how to apply for the Goldwater Scholarship or other prestigious awards, visit https://fellowships.dasa.ncsu.edu/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.