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Stephanie Hart named a 2016 Goldwater Scholar

Two undergraduates in the College of Science and Engineering (CSE)—Stephanie Hart and Anthony Tabet—have been named 2016 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars. Both are juniors enrolled in the CSE and the University Honors Program. Stephanie is working with Professor Renee Frontiera and Anthony worked with Professor Aaron Massari.

The prestigious, competitive scholarship is awarded annually to outstanding sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research-oriented careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The scholarship awards up to $7,500 per year for two years of undergraduate study.

Stephanie Hart

Stephanie Hart of Grand Rapids, MN, is a junior chemistry and chemical engineering major who plans to complete a doctorate in physical chemistry and conduct research in renewable energy systems. She traces her interest in solving environmental challenges to her childhood experiences camping, hiking and skiing in northern Minnesota.

Despite not having a particularly strong background in math and science when she entered the University, Hart discovered a passion for chemistry in her first year courses and began working as an assistant in the lab of Chemistry Professor Renee Frontiera. There she has been using stimulated Raman spectroscopy to examine ultrafast structural dynamics driving singlet fission in organic molecules with applications to the development of photovoltaic materials. For her research, Hart has been awarded a Thomas DuBruil Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Undergraduate Research by the Department of Chemistry, and she will spend the summer of 2016 as an Amgen Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Hart is committed to helping other young women succeed in the sciences and engineering, volunteering with the Chemists in the Library and Energy and U programs at the University. She is also a member of the University of Minnesota Cycling Team and Nordic Ski Team.

Anthony Tabet

Anthony Tabet, a junior chemical engineering major from New Brighton, MN, arrived at the University as a post-secondary education options student intent on studying philosophy and political science, but the opportunities offered by the University have led him to a variety of research experiences. 

An engaging chemistry class taken by chance led him to the lab of Chemistry Professor Aaron Massari while still a high school senior. In the Massari laboratory, he studied the morphology and absorption properties of organic polymer films for solar energy applications. At the same time, he began working with University Medical School researchers David Largaespada and Igor Nestrasil to study enzyme deficiencies in patients with Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS). More recently, he has joined the lab of Biomedical Engineering Professor Chung Wang to develop biocompatible, biodegradable parenteral drug delivery platforms.

Outside of the University, Tabet has worked for Activated Research Company of Eden Prairie, Minnesota to develop reactive chromatography technology for improved analytical testing, and he is a co-founder of CoCreate Ventures, a public benefit corporation that provides mentoring and resources to help young entrepreneurs collaboratively develop product ideas. Tabet is also active on campus with the Maronite Youth Group and the Comebacks A Capella Group.

Goldwater Scholarship program

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. This year, 260 scholars were selected nationwide from a field of more than 1,200 students who were nominated by their colleges and universities. Each institution may nominate up to four students.

Since the inception of the program, 61 undergraduates at the University of Minnesota have been named Goldwater Scholars, including seniors Nathan Klein and Sammy Shaker.

University of Minnesota students who are interested in applying for the scholarship in the future may consult the Office of National and International Scholarships, contact Timothy Jones at, or visit Goldwater Scholarship.