Sophia Hessami, an honors student and biological engineering major, is a 2024 Goldwater Scholar. The honor is among the nation’s top recognitions for undergraduate STEM scholars. (Photo Credit: USU/Levi Sim)

LOGAN – It is a rare honor when a university’s undergraduate STEM scholars are nominated to become Goldwater Scholars and Friday Utah State University learned USU honors student Sophia Hessami was chosen from more that 1,300 nominees.

It is the nation’s top academic competition in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Hessami is a biological engineering major from Spokane, Washington.

The USU Honors Program coordinates submissions for the Goldwater Scholarship and others nominated in November were Jacey Hopkin, Kade Robison and Zachary Zito.

Hessami said her time in the tissue engineering lab of faculty mentor Elizabeth Vargis has been her most impactful at USU.  She said she wants to earn a master’s degree in biological engineering at USU.

With 38 Goldwater Scholars over the last 26 years USU rivals other top universities.

One or two-year scholarships of up to $7,500 a year for tuition and expenses go to Goldwater award recipients.





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