Occidental College Brothers Win Pair of Goldwater Scholarships
Occidental College sophomores Ramesh and Vipin Bhagat, fraternal twin brothers from Houston, have each been awarded a highly competitive Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.
The award allots up to $15,000 to incoming juniors and is given to students intending to pursue careers in math, science and engineering fields.
The Bhagats are among 309 Goldwater Scholarship winners from 48 states and the District of Columbia. They were selected from a field of 1,155 applicants. The awards will help cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board.
Ramesh, a chemistry major studying the dehydrating effects of various substances on phospholipid bilayers – the membrane through which materials pass through human cells - plans to pursue chemistry postgraduate work and possibly attend medical school. “I am very fortunate to have received the Goldwater Scholarship,” he said. “The support and motivation of my professors have been instrumental, and this award will serve as a tool for me to continue my current research, while also helping me to achieve my future goals.”
Vipin, a biochemistry major, also plans to embark on postgraduate work. His ongoing Occidental research could help remedy genetic mutations such as sickle cell anemia and cancer. “My current lab project investigates electron transfer through the DNA double helix in hopes of developing an assay to detect mutations,” he said. “With the help of devoted chemistry professors, I was able to obtain this prestigious award, which will help me pursue a career a biomedical research.”
The Bhagats are graduates of Memorial High School in Houston. They are the 23rd and 24th Goldwater winners from Occidental since 1991.
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation is a federally endowed agency honoring the late Arizona senator. In its 14-year history, the foundation has awarded more than 3,600 scholarships worth about $36 million.