Odelia Putterman'23 was awarded The Barry Goldwater Scholarship which supports promising undergraduate students pursuing research in the fields of natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics.
Why did you choose to apply for this award?
I first heard about this Goldwater Scholarship, which is geared towards undergraduates wanting to pursue post-graduate studies in STEM, as a sophomore. I want to continue studying my major fields (Physics and Computer Science) after my undergraduate degree, so I decided to apply for this award!
What are you most looking forward to during your time as a fellow?
I am super excited to be a part of a community of Goldwater Scholars who are sharing their experiences and helping one another navigate the world of post-undergraduate studies, research, and industry work. This scholarship has opened a whole network of like-driven individuals in STEM who are there to motivate and support one another.
How have your experiences at Oxy prepared you to apply for this award?
Before transferring to Occidental College, I was studying Astronomy and Physics and conducted research in Astronomy on a particular type of supernovae (Iax supernovae). I believe my research experience gave me the necessary experience and skills to be a competitive applicant for this award. At Oxy, I have met so many brilliant professors who encouraged me to apply for scholarships, both ones I'd never heard of and those I thought out of my grasp. Oxy has provided me the flexibility and support to delve into my interests and pursue both majors. The encouragement and support the Oxy faculty and curriculum have provided have been invaluable.
What advice would you give future applicants about the application process?
I would encourage you to apply for anything that sparks your interest and be bold in putting yourself out there. The application process can be time-consuming and challenging, so make sure to spread out your work, be consistent in devoting time to your application, and turn to your mentors and advisors for help in the process.