scholars smiling
Goldwater awardees Dawn Ford (right) and Monica Bradford.

UVA, Denison Scholars Receive Goldwater Awards

Spring 2023 | National

Posse Scholars Dawn Ford and Monica Bradford are recent recipients of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, one of the oldest and most prestigious national scholarships in the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics. The Scholars were selected from a pool of nearly 5,000 sophomores and juniors across the country.

A physics major minoring in material science and engineering at the University of Virginia, Dawn remembers developing a passion for science as a child.

"I always wanted to make an impact and suddenly with Posse I was on that path.”

UVA Scholar Dawn Ford

“I’ve loved STEM from a pretty young age,” she says. “I participated in science fairs and physics competitions in high school, but Posse was my first big success. I always wanted to make an impact and suddenly with Posse I was on that path.”

Dawn hopes to someday create technologies that help the United States achieve a net zero carbon footprint using low-cost, naturally abundant materials.

Monica is a biochemistry major at Denison University who wants to discover solutions that make medicine easier to produce, distribute and access. Her ultimate goal is to make healthcare more affordable for under-resourced populations.

“My mantra is ‘fail and try again’,” says Monica. “I self-nominated for the Posse Scholarship and made it all the way. Posse helped me see myself as someone who could be a leader.”

"Posse helped me see myself as someone who could be a leader.”

Denison Scholar Monica Bradford

In 2022, Monica was one of five Scholars selected for Posse’s prestigious Jeff Ubben Fellows Program. The highly coveted opportunity included a summer internship with Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel and a $10,000 grant.

“My experience at Moderna helped me see that I wanted to pursue a Ph.D. rather than going to medical school,” Monica says. “Applying for the Goldwater was a natural next step, and the Ubben fellowship helped me see that I could actually win it.”

Goldwater Scholars are selected for their intellectual acumen, commitment to a research career and “potential for a significant future contribution to research in their chosen field.” Recipients receive up to $7,500 in annual scholarships towards their degree.