Jackie Dall '21 was awarded a Goldwater Scholarship to support her work in STEM research.
Why did you choose to apply for this award?
I was selected as an Oxy nominee after being nominated by a faculty member and interviewing with Oxy’s Goldwater committee. Interviewing gave me a better understanding of the fellowship itself, the processes, and the emphasis on research for this specific fellowship. Ultimately, I chose to apply because I want to go to graduate school and have a career in the sciences and this fellowship emphasizes the importance of those goals and connects current fellows with a larger community of fellows.
How have your experiences at Oxy prepared you to apply for this award?
My classes in the Oxy geology department have a strong focus on research and laboratory skills, which helped me when I began directed research during my sophomore year. Since the Goldwater fellowship places a strong emphasis on research experience, having had multiple research experiences across different departments at Oxy — geology, UEP, and off-campus — prepared me to apply for this award. I found that being able to delineate my specific contributions to larger projects and what I learned in each project was helpful when completing the application process.
What advice would you give future applicants about the application process?
I found that the internal Oxy application process was helpful in clarifying my goals and specific skills I had learned through different research projects. Taking advantage of the Oxy interview process to verbalize my future goals and plans, was especially helpful when working on the later application process. I also found it helpful to do research on the fellowship’s purpose and application FAQ. Getting feedback on my application from Jennifer Locke, director of fellowships at the HCC, and the Oxy Goldwater committee was especially helpful, and I would additionally suggest asking friends to read your responses to get even more feedback on your application.