Jerrell Cockerham ’21 is one of two Colorado College students and one of 396 college students from across the United States to be named a 2020-21 Goldwater Scholar.
The prestigious Goldwater Scholarship is given annually to sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue careers in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering.
Cockerham, a mathematics major from Los Angeles, says, “It’s always pleasing to receive recognition for hard work. I have made numerous efforts since arriving at Colorado College to provide myself with a solid footing for transitioning into graduate education. Applying for the Goldwater was one such effort; it serves as a clear demonstration of my dedication to excellence in academia.”
Cockerham had been studying at McDaniel College in Hungary through the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program until the Coronavirus outbreak. The coursework is primarily mathematical and conducted in English by Hungarian professors.
He also was accepted at the MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP) this summer. MSRP began in 1986 as an institutional effort to address the issue of underrepresentation of African Americans, Mexican Americans, Native Americans, and Puerto Ricans in engineering and science in the United States.
When that program was canceled due to the Coronavirus, the renowned REU SMALL at Williams College invited him to participate in their program in lieu of MIT. The SMALL Undergraduate Research Project is a nine-week residential summer program in which undergraduates investigate open research problems in mathematics.
Cockerham was one of 1,343 natural science, engineering, and mathematics students nominated by 461 academic institutions to compete for the 2020 Goldwater scholarships. Of this year’s scholars, 50 are mathematics and computer science majors, 287 are majoring in the natural sciences, and 59 are engineer majors.
Goldwater Scholars have impressive academic and research credentials that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs. Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 93 Rhodes Scholarships, 146 Marshall Scholarships, 170 Churchill Scholarships, 109 Hertz Fellowships and numerous other distinguished awards such as NSF graduate research fellowships. The award covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.