Virginia Commonwealth University is pleased to announce that four students have been nominated for the 2014 Goldwater Scholarship.

Nicolas Andrade

20140207_145255Nicolas Andrade, an electrical engineering and physics major from Mechanicsville, Va. is a sophomore in the Honors College.  Andrade graduated from Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School in Richmond, Va. in 2012. After completing his bachelor’s degree, Andrade plans to pursue a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. In graduate school, he intends to conduct research in optoelectronics to improve the efficiency of light emitters. After his graduate studies, Andrade plans to continue to pursue translational research in optoelectronics devices while teaching at a university level.


Zachary Canfield

PictureZachary Canfield, a sophomore chemical engineering major from Richmond, graduated from James River High School in 2011. After completing his bachelor’s degree, Canfield plans to pursue a Ph.D. in biological engineering with a focus in synthetic biology.  Canfield would like to use synthetic biology to perform translational research such as protein engineering and genetic part characterization for the purpose of drug discovery and biofuels.



Jefferson Overlin

Goldwater Publicity Jefferson OverlinJefferson Overlin, a junior biomedical engineering major, is from Jefferson, Or. and graduated from Jamestown High School in Williamsburg, Va. in 2011. After completing his bachelor degree, Overlin plans on obtaining an M.D. and a Ph.D. in neuroscience while conducting research in the pathology of brain injury.  He hopes to contribute to the development of new methods of diagnosis, management techniques and treatments for brain injuries.



Natasha Sheybani

Natasha_Picture1Natasha Sheybani, a sophomore biomedical engineering major from Colonial Heights, Va., is a guaranteed admissions student in the Honors College.  In 2012, Sheybani graduated from the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts and Technology in Petersburg, Va.  After completing her bachelor’s degree, Sheybani plans on pursuing an M.D. and a Ph.D. with an interdisciplinary focus in biomedical engineering and computational systems biology as it pertains to anti-cancer drug delivery.  In the future, Sheybani plans to use her research with three-dimensional culture models to help develop controlled cancer treatments using algorithms optimized via evolutionary game theory.



The Goldwater Scholarship Program, which honors the late Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. In last year’s competition, 272 Goldwater Scholars were selected from a field of 1,107 applicants who were nominated by their college or university. Each four year university can nominate up to four students each year. The Goldwater Scholarship will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

Andrade, Canfield, Overlin and Sheybani applied for the Goldwater Scholarship through the National Scholarship Office, which assists VCU students and alumni who wish to compete for prestigious national and international scholarships.

Categories Goldwater Scholarship, NSO Student Features