University of South Florida


Graphic with photos of Alexandria Brady-Miné, Caitlyn Coleman and Cole Gibson

(L-R)  Alexandria Brady-Miné, Caitlyn Coleman and Cole Gibson

USF breaks record with 100% acceptance rate of Goldwater Scholar nominations

Three USF students have been named Goldwater Scholars – tying a decade-old record for the most students named in a single year.

Alexandria Brady-Miné, Caitlyn Coleman and Cole Gibson were named 2022 Goldwater Scholars, chosen out of nearly 1,300 students nationally who were nominated through a highly selective process. The scholarship is the most prestigious undergraduate award in the country for science research and provides $7,500 for educational expenses and research support. 

Brady-Miné, a junior in the Judy Genshaft Honors College majoring in mechanical engineering, has conducted research on novel biomaterials and 3D bioprinting. She works with Nathan Gallant in the USF College of Engineering to develop “smart” polymers with enhanced cell adhesion. Brady-Miné enjoys working at the intersection of engineering and global change. At 17, she founded the Human Projects, an international human rights nonprofit with 1.6 million program participants. Brady-Miné was awarded a 2021 National Institute of Standards and Technology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship,is a Jane Goodall Institute Fund II Fellow and was selected for the 2022 MIT Summer Research Program. 

Also a junior in the Judy Genshaft Honors College, Coleman is a microbiology major with a minor in infection control. In the summer of 2021, she joined a highly selective Leadership Alliance Summer Research Program in the Molecular Biology and Genetics group at Cornell University. There she worked on bioinformatics with Dr. Cedric Feschotte. Coleman recently presented her research at the annual Leadership Alliance National Symposium and the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science conference.  

Gibson is also a junior and a National Merit Scholar pursuing concurrent degrees in math and physics. He works with Jacob Gayles in the USF Physics department. He began research with the Quantum Chiraltronics Group under Gayles in summer 2021 and is investigating the magnetic textures of magnetic nanoparticles using an atomistic approach. Gibson recently presented his work at the annual American Physical Society March Meeting. He is excited to further develop his skills as a physicist and researcher while continuing to make meaningful contributions to the field. 

Gibson was awarded the Goldwater for his work in computational condensed matter physics, specifically exotic spin textures. Coleman received the honor for her work in bioinformatics and Brady-Miné for her work in biomaterials and smart polymers. 

“Each of these national scholarship recipients has an incredibly bright future. They are reflective of the immensely talented, hard-working and diverse student body that calls USF its academic home,” said USF Provost and Executive Vice President Ralph Wilcox. “Research is a deeply embedded component of the undergraduate experience at our university, and I am grateful for the successful mentoring Alexandria, Caitlyn and Cole have been provided by our faculty and staff.”

All three of USF’s 2022 Goldwater Scholars plan to pursue their doctorates and enter meaningful scientific careers. They worked with the university’s Office of National Scholars (ONS) and its director, Sayandeb Basu, on their research goals and Goldwater applications. ONS works with USF students to identify prestigious scholarship opportunities and craft competitive applications. 

USF tied with the University of Central Florida for having the most 2022 Goldwater Scholars in the state – bringing the university’s total to 18. This is also the first time that all nominated USF students were selected for the prestigious award. Previous scholars have gone on to earn other nationally competitive awards and study at internationally prominent institutions as they work on research projects.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, who served the country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. The purpose of the program is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields.

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