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Villanova University Student Named Goldwater Scholar


VILLANOVA, Pa.—Villanova University student Zachary (Zach) Boyer has been named as a 2022 Goldwater Scholar by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. A junior in Villanova's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Boyer—from Tamaqua, Pa.—was selected from more than 1,200 institution-nominated students nationwide.

“As a Goldwater Scholar, Zachary will have a remarkable opportunity to further the work he’s begun as a student-researcher at Villanova. He follows in the footsteps of previous Villanova honorees, many of whom have gone on to excel as researchers in other prestigious, national scholarship programs,” said University Provost Patrick G. Maggitti, PhD. “I congratulate Zachary on this honor and thank the Villanova faculty and staff who have helped him achieve his academic goals.”

A Chemistry major and recipient of the James C. Curvey Endowed Scholarship at Villanova, Boyer’s research has focused on the underlying chemistry of antimicrobial agents. An aspiring medicinal chemist, he aims to develop therapeutics for infectious diseases. The pandemic delayed Boyer’s attempts to become involved in bench research until Spring 2021, when he began working with Dr. Matthew O’Reilly. In Summer 2021, he was awarded a Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellowship and studied the synthesis of novel molecules with antimicrobial properties (“Organic Synthesis, Identification, and Biological Analysis of anti-MRSA Dihydrofolate Reductase Inhibitors”). Boyer has presented at the Villanova Undergraduate Research Symposium, as well as the 2022 American Chemical Society national conference. This summer, he will work as Johnson & Johnson as a Synthetic Chemist Intern.

The Goldwater Foundation awards $7,500 scholarships to sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics or engineering. It is widely considered the preeminent award for undergraduates preparing for research careers in STEM. Recent Villanova Goldwater honorees went on to become Knight-Hennessy Scholars, Marshall Scholars, NSF Graduate Research Fellows and Fulbright Student Grant recipients.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, who served for 30 years in the United States Senate. The program is designed to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. For more information, visit the Goldwater Scholarship website.

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 six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit