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Michigan State University Students Earn National STEM Scholarships

East Lansing, Mich. – Three Michigan State University undergraduate students have been named recipients of the nationally competitive Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. MSU has produced 52 Goldwater Scholars.

MSU’s Goldwater Scholars are:

  • Bailey Bowcutt, an Honors College junior majoring in Microbiology in Lyman Briggs College
  • Calista Busch, an Honors College junior majoring in Genomics and Molecular Genetics in Lyman Briggs College
  • Samuel Sottile, an Honors College junior majoring in Advanced Mathematics in the College of Natural Science

Bowcutt is a research assistant for Dr. Shannon Manning on a project examining how antibiotic treatment leads to antibiotic resistant microbes in dairy cattle gut microbiome. She is a STARR Scholar, is president of MSU’s Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Club, and 3D Printing Team Lead in association with the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities. Bowcutt is from Cheyenne, Wyoming and attended Cheyenne Central High School.

“I am very honored to be accepted as a Goldwater Scholar. I am appreciative of the support from Dr. Olive and Dr. Sweeder in my application process, as well as my mentor Dr. Shannon Manning who supported me and encouraged me throughout. I also appreciate the Wyoming Public Health Laboratories and Dr. Noah Hull for helping foster my early interest in research for public health and microbiology. I plan to continue with research and to get my Ph.D., and this process has been exceptional in helping me prepare. None of this would have been possible without my support systems and I am grateful to be awarded this prestigious research scholarship,” Bowcutt said.

Busch is a research assistant for Dr. Richard Schwartz where she studies the effect of diet and oxybenzone on the proliferation of breast cancer. She is an Undergraduate Learning Assistant in Lyman Briggs College and group leader for the Spartan Support Network. Busch is from Mason, Ohio and graduated from William Mason High School.

“I am incredibly honored to receive this award to further my research and expand the opportunities I am able to pursue. I would like to thank my research mentors, advisors, and reviewers who supported me in this process. This award will enable me to focus my attention on my research and dedicate as much time as possible to advancing the field of cancer biology. I look forward to continuing my research at MSU, attending graduate school, and ultimately furthering discoveries in cancer biology,” Busch said.

Sottile is pursuing a research project that focuses on Ergodic Quantum Processes under the supervision of Dr. Jeffrey Schenker and Dr. Ilya Kachkovskiy. He is president of the MSU Math Club, and is a Commended Finalist in the Alumni Distinguished Scholarship Competition. Sottile is from College Station, Texas and attended the Allen Academy for high school.

“I would like to thank my research mentors and everyone I have worked with. I am honored to receive this award and am looking forward to continuing my research,” said Sottile.

Each year, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship seeks scholars committed to a career in science, mathematics, or engineering who display intellectual intensity and who have the potential for significant future contribution in their chosen field. Those students are awarded funding for undergraduate tuition and living expenses.

For the 2022 Goldwater Scholarship competition, 1,242 outstanding undergraduates were nominated by 433 institutions. Bowcutt, Busch, and Sottile were among 417 scholars selected. The funding for these awards is a collaboration between the U.S. Congress and the Department of Defense’s National Defense Education Program.

The National/International Fellowships & Scholarships (NIFS) Office, administered by the Honors College, helps interested undergraduate and graduate students pursue major national and international opportunities by providing information and direct support throughout the competitive application processes.

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