University of Iowa

Congratulations to Jacob Isbell and Lance Heady, 2017 Goldwater Awardees!


To download a printable version of the 2017 Goldwater Announcement, click on the document link below:

UI Undergraduate Researchers Recognized by Goldwater Foundation

Jacob Isbell, a member of the University of Iowa Honors Program and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been named a 2017 Goldwater Scholar. The Goldwater Scholarship was established by Congress in 1986 in honor of Senator Barry M. Goldwater, to challenge and support outstanding young scholar researchers who are pursuing careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The Goldwater is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.

Isbell, of Garrison, IA, is a junior studying astronomy and physics with minors in computer science, mathematics, and geology. Isbell is currently conducting research on galactic evolution - specifically the effects of galactic collisions in the early universe - with Dr. Hai Fu in the Department of Physics & Astronomy.

Fu offered this perspective on Isbell’s knowledge and skill,

"Astronomy research often relies on computers to perform detailed measurements of large data sets. In his current project of binary quasars mined from large radio surveys, Jacob has demonstrated remarkable computer programming skills and a deep understanding of the literature. I have no doubt that in the not-too-distant future, we will be reading about his discoveries in the national news."

Isbell, will receive up to $7500 in funding for tuition, fees, books, room and board, plans to pursue a Ph.D. in astrophysics and an M.S. in computer science upon graduation.

The Goldwater Foundation also recognized UI Junior Lance Heady with an honorable mention. Heady of Quincy, Illinois, is pursuing degrees in biochemistry and neurobiology with minors in psychology, chemistry, and clinical and translational science. He is conducting research with Dr. Andrew Pieper on Huntington’s disease and potential therapeutics which alter the proteomic causes of the disease. Heady, an ICRU Ambassador and resident assistant for the UI STEM Scholars LLC, will be continuing his work on neurodegeneration this summer at MIT through the Amgen Scholars program.

Isbell and Heady worked with UI Honors Program director of scholar development, Kelly Thornburg, the University of Iowa’s Undergraduate Fellowships Committee, and an invaluable community of faculty and research mentors during the development of their application materials.

Since 1989, 53 undergraduate researchers from the University of Iowa have been named Goldwater Scholars. Isbell and Heady join our 2016 Goldwater awardees Rae Corrigan, Erin Maier, Nicholas McCarty, Tom Werner and our 2015 Scholar, Kasra Zarei on campus. Curious about applying for campus nomination? Reach out to our past scholars or talk to faculty Goldwaters like Michael Schnieders, Cornelia Lang, or James Ankrum.


To all of our nominees and campus applicants: Thank you for applying and for doing your best to represent the opportunity and potential of undergraduate study and investigation at the University of Iowa!

We also want to acknowledge the key role recommenders, mentors and campus leadership play in this process.  Without their belief in the value of nurturing undergraduate researchers and their active support of applicants, our nominees could not compete – or succeed – at the national level. 

We are especially grateful for the expertise and investment of the following individuals:

  • Lindsay Marshall, Associate Director, Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates
  • Lori Adams, Executive Director, Latham Science Engagement Initiative, Co-Director, Iowa Biosciences Academy
  • Hai Fu, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Robert Mutel, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Jasper Halekas, Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Andrew Pieper, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Carver College of Medicine
  • Natalie Denberg, Associate Professor, Department of Neurology
  • Bob Kirby, Director, Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates
  • Michael Schnieders, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Biochemistry
  • Rae Corrigan, 2016 Goldwater Scholar
  • Nicholas McCarty, 2016 Goldwater Scholar
  • Suzanne Carter Squires, 2011 Goldwater Scholar, Assessment Director, University of Iowa Honors Program
  • Daniel Reed, Vice President for Research and Economic Development
  • Lon Moeller, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of the University College

For more information about the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, go to:

To learn more about our scholars and their research click on the bolded titles listed below:

Jacob Isbell, Student Remarks - 2017 Honors at Iowa Spring Recognition Ceremony

Lance Heady receives prestigious Donald A. King Summer Research Fellowship

PDF iconUI students earn 2016 Goldwater honors - Visual Profile & Release - UI Undergraduate Fellowships.pdf

Meet Erin Maier, Class of 2017: Researcher of the massive, terrifying, and awesome | College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Undergraduate Research Spotlight: Nicholas McCarty | Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates

Tom Werner presents | University of Iowa Three Minute Research Story Competition | March 6, 2015

Since 1989, 53 undergraduate researchers from the University of Iowa have been named Goldwater Scholars. A full list of our scholars is available below.


  • Jacob Isbell
  • Lance Heady, Honorable Mention


  • Rae Corrigan
  • Erin Maier
  • Nicholas McCarty
  • Tom Werner, Honorable Mention


  • Kasra Zarei
  • Alexandra Bartlett, Honorable Mention


  •  Liam Hovey
  • Alexandra Bartlett, Honorable Mention


  • Keyan Zarei, Honorable Mention


  • Allyson Mayer
  • Nicholas John Rolston


  • Suzanne Hilary Carter, 
  • Ashley Elizabeth Angell, Honorable Mention


  • Jeffrey Nirschl
  • Renugan Raidoo
  • Colorado James Reed


  • Maria Rebecca Drout


  • Maria Rebecca Drout, Honorable Mention 
  • Thomas Edward Heineman
  • Rachel Levine
  • Mark Tucker


  • Alexandra B. Keenan 
  • Garth W. Strohbehn
  • Catherine A. Whiting
  • Andrej Lenert, Honorable Mention


  • James A. Ankrum,
  • Adam T. Heiniger,
  • Craig J. Kilburg


  • William B. Liechty
  • Alexandra J. Olson
  • Evan R. Sengbusch


  • Thomas Hegna


  • Adam Christensen
  • Diane Tran


  • Shoshannah Roth
  • Karsten Temme


  • David Sosnouski


  • Jennifer Meyer
  • Michael Schnieders


  • John Armstrong


  • Nathan Baker


  • Jennifer Kraus 
  • John Randell


  • Michael Noth
  • Hillary Paul


  • Pamela Frischmeyer,
  • Tanya McDermott,
  • Jennifer Renaud,
  • James Williams


  • Jeffrey Chilton
  • Darin Croft
  • Vivek Goyal
  • Amy Miller


  • Philip Roth
  • Andrew Wildenberg


  • Rachel Akeson

For more information about applying for this nationally competitive fellowship as a representative of the University of Iowa, visit Honors’ website at or contact the Director of Scholar Development at