Four NJIT students named Goldwater Scholars — one of the top undergraduate research honors

New Jersey Institute of Technology had four undergraduate students named Goldwater Scholars, one of the top academic honors for undergraduate research.

The total was the highest of any school in the state — and tied for second-highest in the nation. NJIT had more honorees than Columbia University (3), Harvard University (3), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2) and Princeton University (2).

Of this year’s more than 5,000 applicants from 461 colleges and universities nationwide, only 396 students were named Goldwater Scholars.

John Carpinelli, NJIT’s campus representative for the Goldwater program who has overseen the scholar nominee selections since 2010, said the number of winners reflects the importance the school has placed on research.

“Undergraduate research has become a part of NJIT’s culture,” he said. “The wealth of opportunities for interested students to obtain meaningful research experiences has created a much larger pool of strongly qualified candidates to nominate for the Goldwater program.”

NJIT’s 2020 Goldwater Scholars each earned a prize of up to $7,500 per year for up to two years to support their education and research.

The honorees:

  • Sydney Sweet, a junior majoring in chemical engineering, whose nanoparticle research is aiming to improve health care for Type 2 diabetes patients.
  • Joseph Torsiello, a sophomore dual-majoring in applied physics and mathematical sciences. He is involved in research spanning everything from nanotechnology to mosquitoes.
  • Sara Abdelhamid, a sophomore chemical engineering major. She is researching the impact that different bottom shapes of industrial stirring vessels have on the production quality of everything from the taste of our food, to the effectiveness of our drugs, to the texture and fragrance of our home goods.
  • Philip Zaleski, an 18-year old junior majoring in applied mathematics. Zaleski began showing his talents with numbers at an incredibly early age.

The University of Tennessee (Knoxville) had the most scholars, with five. NJIT was tied for second with 14 other schools, including California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Emory University, the University of Michigan and Washington University.