Four Blacks Named Goldwater Scholars

Barry Goldwater, the famed conservative U.S. senator from Arizona and 1964 GOP presidential nominee, was a dedicated promoter of scientific and engineering research. His home in Arizona had a high-tech flagpole which would automatically raise the Stars and Stripes when the first rays of sunlight hit the pole each morning. 

In 1986, when Congress created a new scholarship program to encourage graduate study in mathematics, science, and engineering, Goldwater’s name was attached to the new program. Students chosen as Goldwater scholars can obtain tuition grants of $7,500 per year for two years to an accredited graduate program in science, mathematics, or engineering. Since its founding, the program has awarded 4,885 scholarships with a value of more than $48 million.

Barry Goldwater was no friend of blacks. He opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and he was a staunch opponent of school busing to achieve racial integration. Fittingly, very few blacks have benefited from the Goldwater Scholarship program. But racism is not the culprit. The low number of black students pursuing graduate study in the sciences who meet the eligibility requirements results in a small pool of black applicants.

This year 323 Goldwater scholars were chosen from a pool of 1,081 nominees. Only nine of the applicants identified themselves as black on the nomination form submitted to the selection committee. Of these nine candidates, four black students were selected as Goldwater scholars. They are:

Hosam N. Attaya, a cell and molecular biology major at Texas Tech University. He hopes to to enter an M.D./Ph.D. program in molecular biology or genetics.

Sheria A. Bondarev is majoring in biotechnology at Massachusetts Bay Community College. She plans to enter an M.D./Ph.D. program in genetics at Brandeis University.

Robert M. Koffie is pursuing a double major in physics and biochemistry at Indiana University. He plans on graduate study in medical physics.

•  Adjoa R. Smalls-Manley is double-majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. She plans to enter an M.D./Ph.D. program in immunology.