A&S students win prestigious Truman, Goldwater scholarships


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Three students from the College of Arts & Sciences received Harry Truman and Barry Goldwater scholarships.

Cosimo Fabrizio ’22, is the recipient of the Harry Truman Scholarship, which provides $ 30,000 to graduate school for juniors engaged in a career in public service. This year, 62 scholarship recipients were selected from a pool of 845 applicants representing 328 colleges and universities.

Nikita Borisov ’22 and Jon Meinhardt ’22 received the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, a national award for students pursuing careers in the natural sciences, mathematics or engineering.

The Goldwater Scholarship Foundation awarded 410 scholarships in the 2021 competition among a pool of 1,256 undergraduate students nominated by 438 institutions.

Fabrizio, a graduate in government and economics, plans to earn a law degree and a master’s degree in public policy after Cornell. He co-founded the Cornell Criminal Justice Coalition, a collective of eight campus and community groups. Under the direction of Professor Joseph Margulies, he conducts research for the Police Reform and Reintegration Project and is also an accomplished musician.

Fabrizio said music was the inspiration behind much of his current research.

“Because of jazz, I started to discover more American history, especially history related to the black experience and the civil rights struggles in this country,” he said. “Along the way my mentor Wynton Marsalis (jazz legend and AD White Professor at Large) recommended that I watch ‘Just Mercy’ by Bryan Stevenson, that’s when I really got to began to appreciate the depth of suffering among the criminals of our country. the judicial system. I am fortunate to be able to study with people like Professor Margulies, who also emphasizes the ability of each of us to improve broken systems on our own.

Along with his other activities, Fabrizio is also a co-founder of rapStudy, a company that combines melodies of popular songs with new lyrics intended to help elementary and middle school students learn everything from civics to science.

“Seeing an idea that my friend Drew and I had two years to become a real resource that helps kids get excited about learning has been a special experience, especially during COVID,” he said.

Borisov, a Goldwater Fellow, studies mathematics, with a particular interest in abstract algebra. His article, “On Square Root Preserving Maps of Idempotent and Nilpotent Rank One Matrices” was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Algebra and its Applications. Borisov is a math teacher and is active at Cornell’s Math Club.

Nikita Borisov 22, right, met Matt Parker, who creates the popular Stand-up Maths YouTube channel, when Borisov was working at the Museum of Mathematics in New York City.

Borisov’s interest in theoretical mathematics began in high school, but he honed in abstract algebra after taking linear algebra in his second year at Cornell.

“A lot of algebraic proofs are quite nice and it’s very satisfying to see them in class, but despite that, a lot of the proofs and research I have done can get ugly and hairy at times,” he said. “It’s always very exciting when things click and I’m able to find proof.”

Borisov plans to attend college to become a math teacher, continuing his teaching and research.

“It’s a long and uphill struggle for academics to achieve their dream position, so I appreciate receiving that kind of reinforcement and encouragement along the way,” Borisov said of the Goldwater Prize.

Meinhardt, the second Goldwater winner, is majoring in chemistry and plans to pursue a doctorate in organic chemistry. He teaches organic chemistry students, provides peer counseling to chemistry students, and researches the development of new synthetic and computational methods in organic chemistry in Professor Song Lin’s laboratory.

Meinhardt knew when he arrived at Cornell that he wanted to study chemistry, an interest that was confirmed during an organic chemistry class in his first year.

“I became fascinated by the enormous applicability of synthetic organic chemistry in areas such as drug development and materials science,” he said. “More specifically, I was won over by the ease with which the fundamentals of organic chemistry could be extended to explain a multitude of reactivity models and be used to develop new chemical transformations. From there, my interest in the subject really took shape.

The work of his research group this year, which they plan to publish in a scientific journal later this spring, focuses on a computer project that uses machine learning and computational chemistry to predict the sensitivity properties of energetic materials. . There are possible applications in pharmaceuticals, as well as military and civilian uses of explosives.

“My undergraduate research has given me the opportunity to develop my abilities as a chemist on several fronts (synthetic organic chemistry, computational and physical) and has put me on a trajectory where I can meet the complex and multidimensional challenges facing the chemical industry, ”he said.

Meinhardt is also delighted with the Goldwater Prize.

“Receiving the award only makes me more excited for my time here this summer at Cornell and my senior year,” he said. “I’m proud not only to represent myself, but also of the great opportunities and mentorship unique to Cornell.”

Read the story on the College of Arts and Sciences website.

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