DeLucia Earns Goldwater Scholarship

Alyssa DeLucia ’18 has earned a Goldwater Scholarship, a prestigious award reserved for undergraduate students who intend to pursue careers in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

Alyssa DeLucia ’18 (Photo by Scott Cook) Alyssa DeLucia ’18 (Photo by Scott Cook)

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation has named Alyssa DeLucia ’18 as a 2017 Goldwater Scholar. Arden Baxter ’18 was also named as an honorable mention for the prestigious award.

The Goldwater Scholarship is awarded annually to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue careers in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering. It covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

DeLucia, a chemistry major from Palm City, Florida, plans to pursue a PhD in catalytic chemistry after graduating from Rollins. She based her Goldwater essay on her internship in a molecular oncology lab at the Moffitt Cancer Center last summer. In May, DeLucia will start a 10-week summer research program at Georgia Tech’s School of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

“My current goal is to perform research in an industrial setting that incorporates the principles of green chemistry,” DeLucia says. “I would help industries design new catalysts that will make their processes more environmentally friendly.”

Alyssa DeLucia ’18 (Photo by Scott Cook) Alyssa DeLucia ’18 (Photo by Scott Cook)

DeLucia is one of just 240 students to receive the scholarship this year from a pool of almost 1,300 applicants. Baxter is one of 307 students to earn an honorable mention.

“For undergraduates, this is the most prestigious science scholarship,” says Jayashree Shivamoggi, director of Rollins’ Office of External & Competitive Scholarship. “It is also a stepping-stone to prestigious scholarships for graduate school.”

Goldwater Scholars have gone on to win other prestigious awards, such as the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Fellowship, Rhodes Scholarship, Churchill Scholarship, and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship.

Alyssa DeLucia ’18 (Photo by Scott Cook) Alyssa DeLucia ’18 (Photo by Scott Cook)

Rollins chemistry professors Laurel Habgood and Kasandra Riley recommended DeLucia for the scholarship after recognizing her aptitude both in the classroom and the lab. Shivamoggi says the intimate relationships between science faculty and students are the primary reason Rollins has had a dozen Goldwater Scholars since 1992.

“At Rollins, the science students aren’t just a number,” Shivamoggi says. “We make it our business to make sure the top science students get the best opportunities. They have the advantage of having very close, one-on-one mentorship from science faculty.”

DeLucia, who is presently planning her senior thesis with Habgood, echoes Shivamoggi’s sentiment.

“If I went to another school, I’m not sure the professors would be as encouraging,” DeLucia says. “Dr. Jay really went out of her way to encourage me to apply, and Dr. Riley was really there for me when I was writing my essay. I’m really grateful for all my professors. They’re always there and I feel like they truly care about the students.”