Two engineering students named 2024 Goldwater Scholars

Two engineering students named 2024 Goldwater Scholars

Madeline Dunsmore and Matthew Conway have been named 2024 Goldwater Scholars. They are two of only 64 engineering and materials science students nationally to earn the award.

Two Rowan University engineering students have received the prestigious 2024 Goldwater Scholarship, awarded to students pursuing research careers in the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics. 

Matthew Conway of Haddon Township and Madeline “Maddy” Dunsmore of Mantua Township, both in the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering and the Martinson Honors College, will receive funding toward their senior years through the Goldwater Scholarship Program, among the oldest national scholarships supporting the next generation of research leaders in these fields. 

Of this year’s 438 scholarships, Conway and Dunsmore are two of only 64 students in engineering and materials research nationally to earn the award.  

Conway is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, minors in chemistry and international studies, and the Bantivoglio Honors concentration. He is a research assistant in Dr. Kirti Yenkie’s Sustainable Design and Systems Medicine Lab and formerly performed organic synthesis reactions in the lab of Dr. Rashanique Quarels. 

A volunteer for South Jersey Mutual Aid in Pennsauken, Conway serves as president of Rowan’s chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and captains the men’s cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field teams.  

Conway plans to earn a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and to conduct research to help find new active ingredients in the pharmaceutical and agricultural fields. 

In Yenkie’s lab, Conway has pursued questions about improving plastic recycling and using machine-learning methods to determine which chemical compounds are most sustainable. 

“We need students who are willing to work on these challenging problems,” Yenkie said. “While they are intelligent, they also need to be hard-working. That’s the combination that makes the most successful individuals and Matt has that.” 

Dunsmore is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering, a minor in chemistry and the Bantivoglio Honors concentration. She is a research assistant in the synthetic biology and immunoengineering lab of Dr. Mary Staehle. 

She is the assistant center director for Mathnasium of Mullica Hill, where she tutors students of all ages. She serves as vice president of Rowan’s student chapter of Society of Women Engineers and is a student ambassador for the Department of Biomedical Engineering.  

Dunsmore plans to earn her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and to conduct and lead innovative immunoengineering research, teach at the university level and mentor students. 

In Staehle’s lab, Dunsmore is researching the use of biosensors for hypoxic (or low-oxygen) environments, such as within solid cancerous tumors or for the detection of preeclampsia, a dangerous condition in pregnancy that can lead to serious or fatal outcomes. 

“Interdisciplinary and creative thinking is the future of biomedical engineering and Maddy does that very well,” Staehle said. “She’s a tremendous teammate, as well as an independent researcher.”

Federally endowed and established in 1986, the Goldwater Foundation’s scholarship program honors Sen. Barry Goldwater. The foundation received 1,353 nominations from 446 academic institutions to compete for the 2024 scholarships; 438 scholarships were awarded. They include: 57 in mathematics and computer science; 237 in the sciences; 80 in medicine; and 64 in engineering and materials research. 

In total, 10 students from Rowan University have earned the Goldwater Scholarship since 2006.