Hope College junior Emma Rudisel of Midland has received a highly competitive scholarship from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

Only 438 scholarships were awarded nationwide by the Board of Trustees of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, in partnership with the Department of Defense National Defense Education Programs, to undergraduate sophomores and juniors across the United States.  The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from among 1,353 natural science, engineering and mathematics students who were nominated by 446 academic institutions out of an estimated pool of more than 5,000 students.  The scholarships are for one or two years, depending on the recipient’s year in school, and cover the cost of tuition, mandatory fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

Numerous Hope students have received scholarships through the years, including six during the past three years.  A total of 22 Hope students have received the awards since 2006, the earliest year for which data is available on the Goldwater website.

Rudisel is majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology.  She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry and conduct research in understanding altered signaling pathways in cancer for new therapeutic targeting at the industry level.

During the forthcoming summer, she will conduct research at the University of Michigan through the university’s (Cancer Research Summer Internship (CaRSIP) program.

Last summer, she completed a summer internship at Van Andel Institute in the lab of Dr. Stephanie Grainger and is currently conducting research there part-time. The Grainger lab investigates the mechanisms that govern how stem cells are made, how they are maintained and — when things go wrong — how they can become cancerous.

She previously conducted research full-time during the summer and part-time during the academic year with Dr. Kristin Dittenhafer-Reed, associate professor of chemistry, whose laboratory employs biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology approaches to explore how processes within the mitochondria work in a healthy context to enable avenues for the treatment of conditions caused when mitochondria are not functioning properly.

Rudisel’s other activities at Hope include being a teaching assistant for various chemistry and biology courses, Students Teaching and Empowering Peers (S.T.E.P.), and Habitat for Humanity.  She is a 2021 graduate of Midland High School.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on November 14, 1986. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in the fields of the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics. The Goldwater Scholarship is the preeminent under-graduate award of its type in these fields. With the 2024 awards, this brings the number of scholarships awarded since 1989 by the Goldwater Foundation to 10,720.