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The Torchbearer statue stands in Circle Park surrounded by colorful flowers.

Three students from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have been named Goldwater Scholars. Established in 1986 to honor the lifetime work of Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, the Goldwater Scholarship is regarded as the most prestigious undergraduate STEM scholarship in the United States.

Goldwater Scholarships are awarded to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue a research career in the natural sciences, mathematics or engineering. The scholarships provide up to $7,500 annually to cover tuition, fees, books, and room and board.

“We’re so proud of these scholars and all they have already contributed to our campus,” said Amber Williams, vice provost for student success. “They not only demonstrate academic excellence as student researchers but show exceptional promise as future STEM leaders.”

An estimated pool of more than 5,000 students applied for Goldwater Scholarships this year; 1,353 of those were nominated by 446 academic institutions, and 438 received the award. Including the 2024 awards, the Goldwater Foundation has awarded 10,720 scholarships since 1989.

Since 2010, 30 UT students have been named Goldwater Scholars.

Meet the recipients

Amelya-FoxAmelya Fox of Plainfield, Illinois, is a junior studying biomedical engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship will support Fox’s research, which focuses on combining different biomedical imaging techniques to study heart attacks, and her application to graduate school.

“I am humbled to be joining this community of incredible scientists and am grateful for all of the mentorship and support that made it possible,” said Fox. “The Goldwater Scholarship is an encouraging achievement at this stage in my career, and I’m excited to employ the resources afforded by the scholarship to develop further as a student and researcher.”

Jakob-ScrogginsJakob Scroggins of Platte City, Missouri, is a junior studying materials science and engineering. Scroggins will use his scholarship to conduct research on the sustainable development of energy storage devices.

“I am incredibly grateful for the recognition this award gives to my work and the many people who make it possible,” said Scroggins. “I believe that I share this honor with my family, friends, teachers, professors and research mentors because of their constant support, encouragement, guidance and investment in my future.”

Harrison-WadeHarrison Wade of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is a sophomore with a dual major in neuroscience and psychology. Wade plans to use his scholarship to further his lab’s research on the proteins associated with the progression and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

“As a two-time college dropout who thought he’d become a welder in high school, I’m amazed to be awarded such a high honor,” said Wade. “Being a Goldwater Scholar is easily my highest achievement, and I hope it will be the beginning of many. I am thankful for everything my graduate student Victoria Norman has done to help me succeed, and I am thankful that Dr. Rebecca Prosser accepted me into her lab and has helped guide me here at UT.” Wade also thanked Laura De Furio, associate director of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships at UT, for her help in the application process.

Undergraduate Research and Fellowships facilitates the Goldwater application process and works with the Goldwater Selection Committee to choose the university’s nominees. UT students who would like more information about the Goldwater Scholarship and other nationally competitive awards can visit the URF website and schedule an appointment to meet with its staff.


Maggie Palmer (865-974-3993,

Laura De Furio (865-974-8560,