Junior Quinn Eberhard earns prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship, will use funds for public good

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Quinn Eberhard is the first Bowling Green State University student in over a decade to win the $7,500 Barry Goldwater scholarship, which she said will help fund her research and her Ph.D. ambitions.

by Kandace York

As a student in the Honors College and the College of Arts and Sciences with a major in chemistry (biochemistry concentration), and a minor in biology, Quinn Eberhard is the first Bowling Green State University student in over a decade to win the $7,500 Barry Goldwater scholarship, which she said will help fund her research and her Ph.D. ambitions.
 
The scholarship recognizes the scientific talent needed nationwide to maintain global competitiveness and security. More than 5,000 college sophomores and juniors applied for this year’s scholarship; Eberhard is one of the 2020-2021 winners. Since its founding in 1989, the scholarship has awarded over $71 million to aspiring scientists. Honoring Senator Barry Goldwater, it was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in natural sciences, engineering and mathematics.
 
Eberhard’s focus is the development of a research-centered algorithm, or set of rules. By using the algorithm, rather than collecting and manually analyzing data for each application, scientists can shorten their research time by weeks or even months. Her work is critically needed; she studies protein sequences and RNA research, potentially affecting research on cancer and the corona family of viruses – including COVID-19.
 
“The Barry Goldwater Scholarship is the preeminent undergraduate award of its type in these fields,” BGSU President Rodney Rogers said, “and Quinn’s work is just one more example of a public university working for the public good. I’m proud of what she’s already achieved, and I look forward to the achievements I know her future holds.”

 
 In 2019, as a college sophomore, Eberhard utilized a Hoskins Global Scholars Program scholarship from the University to travel to Cambridge, England, where she worked with researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory - European Bioinformatics Institute.
 
She credited Dr. Morgan-Russell, Honors College dean, along with Professor Neocles Leontis, Department of Chemistry, and Professor Craig Zirbel, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, with helping her refine and develop her project, starting with her involvement in the University's RNA Structural Bioinformatics group. During the pandemic, she has continued her research and has worked remotely with Professors Leontis and Zirbel.
 
“Due to the pandemic, I won't be traveling back to Cambridge to work with the EBI like we had originally planned,” Eberhard said, “but I am incredibly grateful for all of the help the Honors College gave me while applying for the Goldwater scholarship as well as all of my mentors in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Biology.”

Interested in pursuing national scholarships to further your studies? Contact the Honors College.