Villanova Presidential Scholars Recognized by Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program

Goldwater is considered to be the premier undergraduate award for STEM fields of study

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University Presidential Scholar Ian Dardani ’13, of Syracuse, N.Y., is a 2012 recipient of a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. Fellow Presidential Scholar Katherine Dynarski ’13, of Freehold, N.J., was named an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Goldwater Scholarship competition. Both students are juniors at Villanova University.

Established in 1986, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is considered to be the premier undergraduate award of its type for these fields.

“As Villanova University Presidential Scholars, Ian and Katy have actively sought every opportunity to excel at Villanova as academic leaders,” said Jane Morris, Director of the University’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. “They are exceptional representatives of Villanovans using their gifts to serve the global community.”

Dardani is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and is a Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellow. He has held leadership positions for Villanova’s chapter of Engineering Without Borders, serving as president, public relations director, and project manager for Panama. Dardani has conducted research on the optimization of multiple-pipe gravity-driven water networks. He also worked in the rural area of Alto Bayano, Panama, for five weeks with a non-profit organization, which carries out infrastructure projects in the region. Dardani plans to pursue a Ph.D. in fluid mechanics and hopes to both teach and conduct research in computational fluid dynamics and optimization.

A biochemistry major, Dynarski serves as a Catholic Relief Services Student Ambassador and as a student facilitator for the University’s Environmental Leadership Learning Community. She plans to get her Ph.D. in biology and conduct research in biogeochemistry and in the field of ecology. During her career, Dynarski hopes to investigate the chemical behavior of ecosystems, how they can be altered by human activities, and the resulting effects on ecosystem function.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress to honor Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, who served the country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. The purpose of the Goldwater Foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields.

Villanovans have accounted for 14 Goldwater Scholars and nine Goldwater Honorable Mentions since 1995. Goldwater scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to $7,500 a year.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.