Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Four Georgetown STEM Students Awarded 2024 Goldwater Scholarship

Four juniors in the Georgetown University College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) received the 2024 Goldwater Scholarship in recognition of their accomplishments in scientific and mathematical research.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, which the U.S. Congress established in 1986 to commemorate Senator Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.), rewards students for their commitment to research in science, engineering and mathematics with $7,500. Universities nominate 1,353 candidates competing for 438 scholarships in the 2023-2024 cycle.

This year, the foundation named all four of Georgetown’s nominees — Dua Mobin (CAS ’25), Giselle Rasquinha (CAS ’25), Morgan Rice (CAS ’25) and Jonathan Riess (CAS ’25) — as scholars.

Mobin, a double major in biology of global health and government, said winning the scholarship assured her scientific aspirations, an honor that is particularly impactful as she sometimes faced hardship as a first-generation, low-income (FGLI) student.

“It really solidifies my vision and made me realize that the uncertainties in my head about my future don’t have to define my career path or what the outcome will be from my Georgetown experience or my career,” Mobin told The Hoya.

Courtesy of Georgetown College of Arts and Sciences | Four Georgetown students received the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship in commendation for their research in science and mathematics.

Since her freshman spring, Mobin has worked at Georgetown’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, in a lab tackling the intersection of tumor biology and health care disparity with Rebecca Riggins, a professor of oncology at the Lombardi Center.

Mobin, who will attend medical school at Georgetown’s School of Medicine (SOM) through the Early Assurance program — which admits outstanding Georgetown undergrads to medical school at the end of their sophomore year — said she seeks to continue her tumor biology research and become a physician-scientist to remedy health care disparity among minority populations.

“I want to use what I see in the clinic and treatment plans that don’t work well with certain minority patients or treatments that might not be as effective in certain populations and use those clinical observations to serve as the compass for my lab research,” Mobin said.

Rasquinha, a biology major and women and gender studies minor, has concentrated her research on virology and infectious diseases since she was in high school. She currently researches potential treatments for hepatitis D, a liver virus, under the guidance of John Casey, a professor of immunology and microbiology at the SOM.

Rasquinha said she wants to earn dual doctorate degrees of medicine and philosophy to become a physician-scientist and revolutionize disease prevention — especially in the field of drug development — through reciprocal interactions with her patients.

“I believe that the fight against disease must encompass scientific developments from bench to bedside, and I want to work at the intersection of basic science and clinical research to employ developments from both fronts in creating effective therapeutics,” Rasquinha wrote to The Hoya.

Full disclosure: Giselle Rasquinha wrote for The Hoya’s Science Section in Spring 2023.

Riess, who studies mathematics and physics, has researched theoretical nuclear physics focusing on string theory — or the physics of particles — with Kai Liu, the chair of Georgetown’s physics department, and Hovhannes Grigoryan, a professor of physics.Riess said he started research in these disciplines and hopes to earn a doctoral degree in them because the philosophical characteristics of math and physics captivate him. 

“It is a good framework to understand the world around us,” Riess told The Hoya.

“The research topics that I do really examine those fundamental questions of what are the elementary constituents of the universe and so forth, and mathematics is just the natural language to describe that with,” he added.

Rice, a biochemistry major, researches the role of biochemistry in cellular processes in the Braselmann lab. She won the Clare Boothe Luce Scholar Award — which is dedicated to supporting women in STEM — in 2023, allowing her to continue her research in cancer metastasis, or the disease’s spread from its initial location to other parts of the body over the summer.

Rice said Georgetown’s science faculty has broadened her academic background and prepared her to conduct cancer research, which spans multiple scientific disciplines. 

“By learning about different aspects of cancer mechanisms, from biology to chemistry and everything in between, I was able to learn about many small parts of the big picture, and I hope that my research can start to fill in some of the gaps,” Rice wrote to The Hoya. 

Rasquinha said she has dreamed of winning the scholarship since she first learned about it during her first year at Georgetown.

“I am so thankful to be a part of this community of incredibly intelligent and passionate researchers, and to be recognized as someone that can make a difference with my research interests,” Rasquinha wrote.

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About the Contributor
Catherine Alaimo
Catherine Alaimo, Senior News Editor
Catherine Alaimo is a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences from Scottsdale, Ariz., studying psychology with minors in journalism and French. She can perfectly impersonate Anna Delvey from "Inventing Anna." [email protected]

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