Junior Katie Traynelis is the recipient of a Goldwater Scholarship.
The Goldwater Scholarship Program was established by the U.S. Congress to honor former U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater. According to the Goldwater Foundation web site, “The Goldwater Scholarship Program, one of the oldest and most prestigious national scholarships in the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics in the United States, seeks to identify and support college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming this Nation’s next generation of research leaders in these fields.”
Competition for Goldwater Scholarships is intense. From an estimated pool of over 5,000 college sophomores and juniors, 1343 natural science, engineering and mathematics students were nominated by 461 academic institutions to compete for the 2023 scholarships. Fifty-seven of the 413 scholarship recipients are majoring in engineering.
Katie became involved in undergraduate research during the spring of her sophomore year when she began working on a project that’s led by Professors Albert Keung and Balaji Rao. Her project mentor is CBE Ph.D. student Alison Waldman. Katie is studying epigenetic modifications, which are reversible modifications made to DNA or to the histone proteins that DNA wraps around. Her current project is focused on understanding the specificity of an epigenomic writer called p300.
In March of this year, Katie won first place in the Technical Presentation Competition at the 2023 AIChE Southern Regional Student Conference in Gainesville, Florida. During the fall, she plans to apply to graduate school to obtain her Ph.D. in chemical engineering. Her goal is to perform impactful research in synthetic biology and to one day be a professor. In the meantime, Katie will continue her research and will represent NC State in the Technical Presentation Competition at the AIChE National Conference in the fall.
Katie is also the recipient of a prestigious Astronaut Scholarship, a distinction she shares with NC State alum and highly accomplished astronaut, Christina Hammock Koch.
Congratulations to Katie and good luck with your research!