Biology Student Among 283 in Nation Awarded Goldwater Scholarship

MSUM senior Evangeline Holley was among 283 students from across the nation selected to receive a $7,500 award from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

Holley is a biology major with an emphasis in ecology and evolutionary biology. She is the daughter of Rinita Dalan and George Holley, both faculty members in MSUM’s Anthropology and Earth Science Department.

She was selected from a field of 1,166 mathematics, science and engineering scholars who were nominated by faculty members from colleges and universities throughout the country.

Holley is the tenth MSUM student in the past 13 years to receive a Goldwater Scholarship. (Rachel Sang received the award for two years.)

“I love biology and I love animal behavior,” Holley said. “I get really excited about it and want to get other people excited about it. I like sharing biology with people.”

Holley is currently conducting research under MSUM biology professor Brian Wisenden. The research is centered around the effects diet has on the exploratory boldness of zebra fish. She and her research group will be published in the Journal of Fish Biology this fall.

MSUM’s success in producing Goldwater Scholars and future scientists is directly related to engaging students early and often in the scientific process and supporting their work through faculty mentorship.

“Evangeline Holley is an exemplary research student because she is very bright, she has a solid work ethic and she has a passion for research,” Wisenden said. “Evangeline’s successes are no accident. She is truly among the top echelon of biosciences majors in the United States.”

Holley plans to pursue a Ph.D. in behavior ecology and wants to conduct research in behavioral ecology and teach at the university level.

The scholarship program honoring Sen. Barry M. Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. It’s the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields, and covers the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. Since its first award in 1989, the Foundation has awarded 6,200 scholarships worth approximately $39 million.