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Office of Nationally Competitive Awards (ONCA)

Junior Quinn Mitchell selected for prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

Georgia Curran | Apr 10, 2018

The 2018 winners of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, including junior mechanical engineering major Quinn Mitchell, were announced via a Facebook post on Friday, March 30.

The highly competitive STEM scholarship awards winners up to $7,500 per year to cover the costs associated with room and board, textbooks, tuition and other fees. Mitchell said that he first learned about the award sophomore year after a friend suggested it, then decided to apply as a junior.

He added that he found out he had won through Dr. Monica Burdick, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, who advised his research and helped with his application.

“I was walking to go take a test and she ran up to me yelling ‘Quinn Mitchell! Just the person I wanted to see! Check your email! Check your phone!’” Mitchell said. “It was awesome because she was really excited about it and she helped me so much.”

“I was pretty excited…I was told I needed to tell my mom right away, so I did that,” he added.

Mitchell said that the research he conducted with Dr. Burdick was the main focus of his application essay and explained that they studied the potential for plasma-based cancer treatments.

He added that the Goldwater is a scholarship for STEM students interested in research careers, and that he felt those interests being tested by the three-page application essay.

“It doesn’t sound like a lot, but that’s what made it difficult. It was hard to condense everything I wanted to say into 3 pages,” Mitchell said. He added that he has several areas of interest for future research, including computational fluid modeling with elastoviscoplastics, plasma kinetics modeling, combustion modeling and hypersonic flow modeling.

 “The Goldwater is a nice stepping stone for my future plans,” Mitchell said. “When I applied I was looking to see how my research and my qualifications compare to students from other colleges…and now it will help me apply to grad schools and research fellowships.”

He noted that he is excited about the future and grateful for the guidance and resources he has received from OU and its faculty.

“I’m just really happy and really thankful for all the people both in the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards and in the Russ College that helped me apply,” Mitchell said.

For more information on the Goldwater, other awards and how to apply, students are encouraged to visit

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