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Paris becomes State’s 11th Goldwater Scholar

Timmy Paris was named a Goldwater Scholar
Timmy Paris

South Dakota State University student Timmy Paris was named one of 396 students to receive a scholarship from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation Friday. More than 5,000 students applied for the honor. Paris is SDSU’s 11th student to receive the $7,500 honor since the award started in 1989.

A junior from Rapid City, Paris came to SDSU on a baseball scholarship and spent the 2018 season with the Jackrabbits. However, an introduction to undergraduate research led him to step away from the sport and go full speed into research.

“A big part of my Goldwater application was about how hard it was to make that decision,” said Paris, who is majoring in chemistry, biochemistry and psychology. “Initially, I was drawn to research as an academic extracurricular, something that looks good to do but I learned it’s much more than that. I learned what I do in Brookings can make a scientific impact to people all over the world—that was really inspiring and motivated me toward research.”

Paris learned of his selection from a discussion with Rebecca Bott-Knutson, dean of the Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College. Paris is a member of the college.

“She asked me to call the office and when I did, I could tell she was really excited. We talked and shared a moment of triumph, per se,” Paris said. “Learning of the honor, I was very excited, thankful and appreciative of everyone who helped guide me when I was composing my application.

“Because I’m pursuing an M.D./Ph.D., I knew I had to be strategic filling out the application. The foundation is concerned with how students can handle the time commitment pursuing both disciplines,” he continued. “I was focused on letting them see the passion and love I have for research, so I tried to show them that side of me in every part of the application—to see my character and work ethic shine through.”

Paris plans to graduate from SDSU in spring 2021 and pursue an M.D./Ph.D. He hasn’t decided where to apply yet, but he would like to pursue a career in therapeutic research at a clinical laboratory. That choice would allow him to integrate his love of organic chemistry and research and yet have a direct impact on patients as a doctor.

“Being named a Goldwater Scholar is a great honor,” he said. “I’m so thankful for what my mentors here have done for me. I appreciate what they’ve done for me, and I look to pay it forward by being a mentor to others.”

As the result of a partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense National Defense Education Programs, Peggy Goldwater Clay, chair of the board of trustees of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, announced that the Trustees of the Goldwater Board have increased the number of Goldwater scholarships it has awarded for the 2020-21 academic year to 396 college students from across the United States.

“As it is vitally important that the nation ensures that it has the scientific talent it needs to maintain its global competitiveness and security, we saw partnering with the Goldwater Foundation as a way to help ensure the U.S. is developing this talent,” said Jagadeesh Pamulapati, director of the NDEP program, as he explained the partnership. With the 2020 awards, this brings the number of scholarships awarded since 1989 by the Goldwater Foundation to 9,047 and a scholarship total to over $71 million.

Jace Waybright was named SDSU’s 10th Goldwater Scholar in 2018. After graduating this spring, he will pursue a doctorate in plasma physics at Princeton.

The Goldwater scholarship provides up to $7,500 for tuition and fees annually.

Other SDSU winners were:
1993    Deron Arnold
1994    Eric Held
1997    Amy Fowler
2004    Jordan Williams
2005    Ihab Halaweish
2007    Daphne Moutsoglou
2011    Sarah McMahon
2011    Greg Tanner
2016    Andrew Foley