IU undergraduate Lindsey Way has been named a Goldwater Scholar for the 2023-24 academic year. The national honor recognizes outstanding college sophomores and juniors who show great promise in math, science, or engineering.
Way was among the 413 students selected by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, the federally endowed agency that awards the scholarships. She was selected as a scholar from an estimated pool of over 5,000 students at 427 colleges and universities.
Way is earning her B.S. degree in Microbiology and a B.A. in Middle Eastern Languages and Culture. Her faculty mentor is Xindan Wang, an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology. In the Wang laboratory, Way studies the mechanisms of chromosome dynamics, conducts experiments in cell growth and development, performs research techniques from basic molecular cloning to advanced strain engineering, and administers molecular approaches including next generation sequencing and analyses.
“Lindsey is an extremely bright, motivated, energetic, and intellectually strong student,” says Wang. “She loves to think about and work on issues in the life sciences. During the past three summers, Lindsey was fully devoted to the research projects in my lab. During the academic semesters, Lindsey has been busy shuttling between her classes for her double majors but still manages to come into lab for her experiments every day. It is amazing to see her energy, excitement, and dedication towards science and research. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with such an unusually focused, capable, mature, and driven undergraduate student.”
Way’s work in the Wang lab and formative classes with Julia van Kessel, an associate professor in the Department of Biology, have fostered her love for biology and helped her build a strong foundation for a career in life sciences.
“My curiosity has led me on a career path that aims to discover more about the fundamental concepts of life,” says Way. “As the chromosome is arguably one of the most important molecules within any form of life, I was drawn to learn more about the mechanisms of chromosome maintenance and organization during cell growth and development.”
Way is currently in her senior year at IU and is determined to pursue a doctoral degree in molecular biology. After that, Way aspires to conduct postdoctoral research, become a faculty member at a research university, and lead her own lab as a principal investigator.
The Goldwater Scholarship Program is one of the oldest and most prestigious national scholarships for the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics. It offers financial support, based upon merit and need, and encouragement to sophomores and juniors studying those fields. The scholarship supports their research as they prepare for advanced degrees and careers in related fields.