Above (L-R): Abanob Hanna, Emily Dombrowski and Brison Shira, CofC’s 2022 Goldwater Scholars.

Three College of Charleston students have been named Goldwater Scholars for the 2022-23 academic year. The scholarship is a federally endowed award that encourages students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, natural sciences and engineering.

Emily Grace Dombrowski, Abanob Hanna and Brison Shira, all of whom are in the Honors College, have each received a Goldwater Scholarship Award from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The students are among 417 students nationwide to be awarded the Goldwater Scholarship. The scholarship comes with an award of up to $7,500 per year for tuition, books and room and board.

“These three students have demonstrated an excellent record of scientific achievement as undergraduates, and I look forward to seeing what they will accomplish in the future,” says Suzanne Austin, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “I congratulate them on their many accomplishments and I thank the faculty members who have mentored them.  Pillar 2 of our strategic plan is Academic Distinction, and the achievements of these students are a clear mark of that characteristic at the national level.”

Over the past two years, the College of Charleston has had a total of six Goldwater Scholars, more than any other university in South Carolina. Since 2012, the College has produced 19 Goldwater Scholars. Faculty mentors for this year’s scholarship recipients include chemistry professors Gamil Guirgis and Jay G. Forsythe and biology professor Jody Beers.

The students say the scholarships will help support their goals for the future.

Emily Dobrowski, 2022 Goldwater Scholar

Emily Dombrowski

“I aspire to earn my Ph.D. in marine biology and work for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,” says Dombrowski, a marine biology and French double major from Charleston who wants to explore the effects of climate change. “I hope to continue researching questions about how humans are intertwined in marine conservation and embrace sustainability along our coasts. I am particularly interested in physiology and human interaction with marine organisms.”

Abanob Hanna, 2022 Goldwater Scholar

Abanob Hanna (Photos by Heather Moran)

Hanna is a chemistry major from Myrtle Beach. He plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D in biochemistry, specializing in virology.

“My career goal is to both practice medicine and do research,” he says. “I believe the two go hand in hand. The process of discovery improves patient care as much as patient care enhances the process of discovery, and I want to be part of both.”

Brison Avery, 2022 Goldwater Scholar

Brison Shira

Shira, a double major in Classics and biochemistry from Charleston, plans to earn a doctorate in bioanalytical chemistry.

“One day I hope to find myself teaching at a primarily undergraduate institution and I’d love to make research a big part of my future,” he says. “My current research is in the origins of life and I hope that throughout my career I will be able to contribute to new discoveries that shape our understanding of life on Earth and maybe even life elsewhere in the galaxy.”

Jesslyn Collins-Frohlich, director of CofC’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, Honors College faculty fellow and English instructor, is incredibly proud of the recipients.

“To once again have three students named as Goldwater Scholars is a great achievement that reflects continued excellence in undergraduate research and mentoring at the College of Charleston,” Collins-Frohlich says. “This year’s scholars are particularly noteworthy for the ways their work connects research to societal concerns. In both their current projects and future goals, they are dedicated to seeking answers to questions that are both timely and of great importance for shaping the ways we understand and interact with the world around us.”