Abby Roat ’22 a 2021-22 Goldwater Scholar

Abby Roat ’22 is one of two Colorado College students to be named a 2021-22 Goldwater Scholar. The Scholarship Program was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in the fields of the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics.

A geology major and physics minor from Oakland, California, Roat is one of 410 college students from across the United States to be named a Goldwater Scholar. This is the second consecutive year two CC students have received Goldwater Scholarships, the preeminent undergraduate award of its type in these fields. She joins CC’s Cade Quigley ’23 as a 2021-22 Goldwater Scholar.

Roat currently is studying the impacts of climate change on arctic environments  in Iceland. She spent Block 3 of this year working with CC Professor of Geology Christine Siddoway and Trevor Hillebrand of Los Alamos National Laboratory studying the Cenozoic collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Her senior thesis research, which was the subject of her Goldwater essay, explores how water discharged from the subglacial system impacts melting and retreat of Humboldt Glacier in northern Greenland.  

“I’m incredibly grateful to be among the students recognized for this award,” says Roat. “It’s motivating to be acknowledged for work that is has been critical to my development as a researcher.”

After graduation she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in glaciology or glacial geomorphology. “I hope my research can inform how we understand the processes that drive past and future ice sheet collapse,” she says. 

In addition to working with Siddoway and Hillebrand, Roat says CC Associate Professor of Chemistry Murphy Brasuel also provided mentorship and guidance through the application process.

From a pool of approximately 5,000 college sophomores and juniors, 1,256 natural science, engineering and mathematics students were nominated by 438 academic institutions to compete for the 2021 Goldwater scholarships. Of students who reported, 198 of the Scholars are men, 207 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their highest degree objective. Fifty-one Scholars are mathematics and computer science majors, 291 are majoring in the natural sciences, and 68 are majoring in engineering.

The 2021 awards brings the number of scholarships awarded since 1989 by the Goldwater Foundation to 9,457.

Goldwater Scholars have impressive academic and research credentials that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs. Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 94 Rhodes Scholarships, 150 Marshall Scholarships, 170 Churchill Scholarships, 109 Hertz Fellowships, and numerous other distinguished awards like the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.



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