University Community | Research and Impact

Four Ohio University students awarded prestigious 2024 Goldwater Scholarship

Four outstanding Ohio University students have been named winners of the 2024 Goldwater Scholarship, the premier undergraduate scholarship in mathematics, engineering and the natural sciences in the nation.

Life Sciences majors Jayanna Smith and Benjamin Stiadle, Engineering Physics major Greta Hibbard and Advanced Computing major Brady Phelps are among the 438 scholars selected nationwide.

Each year, Ohio University can nominate four students to the national Goldwater competition. This year’s awards mark the first time that all four OHIO nominees have received the award since the Goldwater program began in 2006. Additionally, OHIO’s four Goldwater Scholarship recipients also represent the highest total received at any university, public or private, in Ohio for the 2024-25 academic year.

“I am extremely proud of these four talented students and their continued commitment to making the world a better place by excelling in their chosen field of study,” said Ohio University President Lori Stewart Gonzalez. “Such history-making student success underscores OHIO’s focus on connecting every student with relevant experiences that will prepare them for career opportunities after graduation.”

The Goldwater Scholarship program honors the late Sen. Barry Goldwater and is designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers.

Each scholarship provides as much as $7,500 annually for up to two years of undergraduate study. A total of 438 Goldwater Scholars were selected for the 2024-25 academic year from a group of 1,353 students who were originally nominated by their higher education institution.

“I want to congratulate all of our hard-working students and their mentors for this incredible achievement that truly showcases OHIO’s growing excellence in undergraduate research,” said Ohio University Director of the Office for Nationally Competitive Awards Christopher Lewis. “I also want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to each of our faculty mentors and Goldwater faculty committee members whose vital student support and guidance helped make this year’s historic Goldwater awards a reality.”

Meet OHIO’s 24-25 Goldwater Scholarship recipients

Greta Hibbard

Greta Hibbard

Greta Hibbard is an Engineering Physics major within OHIO’s Honors Tutorial College whose goal is to earn a Ph.D. in physics, focusing on the intricate dynamics of plasma physics and magnetically confined fusion devices.

Greta’s career goal is to play a pivotal role in advancing fusion energy research by contributing her expertise to a Department of Energy national laboratory, where she can collaborate with fellow researchers on groundbreaking new projects and discoveries.

Brady Phelps

Brady Phelps

Brady Phelps is an Advanced Computing major within the Honors Tutorial College who aspires to earn a Ph.D. in Computer Science and seeks to apply his expertise in a national laboratory, where he can contribute to cutting-edge research projects that push the boundaries of technological innovation.

Additionally, Brady aims to impart his insights and passion for computer science to students at the university level. Through his dual pursuits of research and teaching, he plans to leave a lasting impact on the field of computer science while nurturing the next generation of innovators and scholars.

Jayanna Smith

Jayanna Smith

Jayanna Smith is a Biological Sciences major within the College of Arts and Sciences who envisions a future where her research in molecular biology sheds light on the intricate workings of RNA in bacterial toxicity and virulence.

Her academic journey is driven by a passion for understanding the fundamental mechanisms underlying biological processes, fueling her determination to pursue a Ph.D. in molecular biology and eventually a career in academia and/or related state and federal programs.

Benjamin Stiadle

Benjamin Stiadle is shown with his research project at the Student Research Expo

Benjamin Stiadle is a Cellular and Molecular Biology major within the College of Arts and Sciences who is dedicated to unlocking the mysteries of molecular biology. Benjamin's aspirations extend to earning a Ph.D. in the field, where he intends to delve deeper into molecular biology, integrating mathematical modeling with laboratory work to tackle pressing human health issues.

Beyond academia, Benjamin envisions a career trajectory that encompasses both academia and industry. With a focus on integrating mathematical modeling into laboratory practices, he aims to make significant contributions to addressing complex health challenges.

About the Goldwater Scholarship

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater's lifetime work, serves as a living memorial to his legacy of service as a soldier and statesman. Senator Goldwater dedicated 30 years to the U.S. Senate and 56 years to his country, embodying a commitment to excellence and education.

OHIO students interested in learning more about the Goldwater Scholarship are encouraged to visit and to contact Christopher Lewis, director of the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards at

May 9, 2024
Staff reports