DALLAS (SMU) — SMU junior Patricia Nance was named a 2016-17 Barry Goldwater Scholar, one of 252 sophomores and junior college students selected nationwide to receive the honor. Goldwater scholars are selected from top mathematics, science and engineering students nominated by their universities.
A chemistry and mathematics major, Nance began working her first semester at SMU with her faculty mentor, chemistry professor Patty Wisian-Neilson. Nance has presented her research on the synthesis of antibacterial inorganic polymers at SMU Research Day and the recent American Chemical Society Meeting in Miniature at Texas Woman's University. In addition, she will present her research, which has been supported by SMU Engaged Learning and Hamilton Scholars programs, at the national American Chemical Conference this fall in Philadelphia.
"My research adviser, Dr. Wisian-Neilson, has been my greatest mentor during my time at SMU," Nance says. "I have benefitted so much from her knowledge and guidance, both in the classroom and in the laboratory."
Nance is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the SMU Chemistry Society and SMU Women in Science and Engineering. A recipient of SMU's Harold Jeskey, Lazenby and BRITE scholarships, she also received the Chemistry Department's POLYED Organic Chemistry Award for outstanding performance in organic chemistry.
"Receiving the Goldwater scholarship has been meaningful to me for several reasons. First of all, the scholarship lifts some of the burden of paying for my education, and I am so grateful for this," Nance says. "Because of this funding, I can focus more on studying and research. In addition, this award will afford me more options and flexibility in choosing the best possible graduate program for my next educational step."
Nance plans to earn a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry and pursue a university teaching and research career.