Lee Student Receives Prestigious 2024 Goldwater Scholarship

  • Wednesday, April 17, 2024
  • Olivia Faulkner, Lee University
Ethan Ramey
Ethan Ramey

Lee University's Ethan Ramey, a junior biology major with ecology/environmental emphasis, has received the national Goldwater Scholarship, awarded to college students who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering.  

From an estimated pool of over 5,000 college sophomores and juniors, 1,353 science, engineering, and mathematics students were nominated by 446 academic institutions to compete for one of the 508 Goldwater scholarships awarded this year. Goldwater Scholars have impressive academic and research credentials that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs.  

“Receiving the Goldwater Scholarship is an honor,” said Mr. Ramey. “As a student involved in the LEAP (Learn Engage Achieve Program) and McNair Program on campus, I have committed myself to personal and academic development since arriving in 2021. I plan to use my newfound membership in the Goldwater Scholar community to pave the way for a fruitful career in marine science.”  

Mr. Ramey credits much of his success to his mentors at Lee, including Dr. Sherry Kasper, professor of biology; Dr. Thaddeus McRae, associate professor of biology; and Dr. Kevin Ung, director of the McNair Scholars Program.  

“With the high motivation he brings to his academic studies and original scholarly work at Lee, Ethan has learned when to push harder and when to pause and develop new strategies,” said Dr. McRae. “The Goldwater Scholarship enables him to continue his studies, including his research this summer on bat biodiversity in human-modified habitats. He has the grit, excitement, and growing technical and mental skillset of a career researcher. I am excited to see where his research career takes him, and to see what he contributes to our understanding of ecology.”  

In addition to being a LEAP and McNair scholar, Mr. Ramey has also participated in the university's Creation Care Club and Mock Trial during his time at Lee.  

"Ethan’s commitment to scholarly research and academic training will prepare him well for his PhD in marine biology and a career in investigative animal research,” said Dr. Ung. “The Goldwater Scholarship is a confirmation of his dedication, the sincere investment and care from faculty mentors such as Drs. McRae and Kasper, and the existing learning ecosystem provided by TRIO programs such as McNair and LEAP.” 

According to Dr. Ung, Mr. Ramey’s achievement highlights the university’s commitment to serve all students who arrive on Lee’s campus, but especially first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students seeking to excel beyond their past or present circumstances. 

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 to serve as a living memorial to honor the lifetime work of Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years in the U.S. Senate. By providing scholarships to students who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering, the Goldwater Foundation is helping ensure that the U.S. is producing the number of highly qualified professionals the nation needs in these critical fields.  

The Lee University McNair Scholars Program is designed to support highly motivated scholars as they strive to achieve their educational goals by providing them with academic, financial, cultural, and social support. This program cultivates an interdisciplinary community of scholars who prepare for graduate school through seminars, workshops, campus visits, research experience, and academic conferences.  

For more information about the Goldwater Scholarship, visit goldwater.scholarsapply.org/.  

For more information about Lee’s McNair Scholars Program, visit leeuniversity.edu/mcnair/.  


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