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  • Ryen Sakyi

Gold Water Prize Goes to Jacob Cuzick

Ryen Sakyi

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship is a highly prestigious scholarship awarded to sophomores and juniors passionate about pursuing research careers in natural sciences, mathematics and engineering. The scholarship provides financial support to the recipients, enabling them to focus on their research and academic pursuits.

In the latest round of awards for the 2024-2025 academic school year, the Goldwater Board awarded scholarships to 438 undergraduate students who demonstrated exceptional educational and research abilities. One of those deserving students was the Mount’s very own Jacob Cuzick (C’25).

“I was quite shocked when I won; I was told to take it as a writing opportunity and do this Goldwater scholarship written application over Christmas break. It was an intense drafting process, but I was really happy that I won,” Cuzick said as he explained his thoughts on winning a Goldwater scholarship.

Cuzick is a junior majoring in chemistry. He wants to use the money to go to graduate school, pursue a doctorate in chemistry and achieve a tenured position at the university level.

His research interests lie in climate change and developing novel climate solutions using synthetic chemistry. For his application, his narrative was about climate change and his ideas to counteract it. He has also researched creating synthetic photocatalysis with Dr. Isaac Mills. 

Last summer, Cuzick completed an internship with Dr. Xiong from Boise State University for the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates. He studied nanoparticles for niobium oxide for use in negative electrodes in Li-ion batteries and got to work in Boise State University’s Battery lab. Xiong wrote a recommendation for Jake for this scholarship.

The Office of Competitive Fellowships at Mount St. Mary’s assists students and alumni with the application process for distinguished awards. They had positive remarks about Cuzick winning a Goldwater scholarship. Dr. Angy Kallarackal, one of the Associate Directors of the Office of Competitive Fellowships, who oversees the Goldwater Scholarship, expressed her pride in Cuzick’s journey and the role of the Mount’s community in his success.

She said, “Jake was a very talented and motivated student long before he came here. Coming from a rural area, he didn’t have many opportunities to showcase his abilities. I’m really glad that the Mount Fellows program, Science Department and many others in the Mount community have been able to help him develop as a student and scientist.


She added that his research interests come from a place of true dedication to making the world a better place. Cuzick has taken full advantage of all the resources available to him and Kallarackal is excited to see the great career ahead for him. She further emphasized how thrilled she is for Cuzick and how he deserves this award for his challenging work. 

President Timothy Trainor expressed his feelings about Cuzick stating in his President’s Letter, “We’re also Mount Proud of junior Jacob Cuzick, who has been awarded a 2024-25 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. Jake, a chemistry major whose scientific consciousness was sparked when wildfires ravaged areas near his hometown in 2020.” Trainor is Optimistic about how proud he is of Cuzick and his journey working in chemistry and climate change. 

The Mount community is filled with pride and admiration for Cuzick’s achievements. His success with the Goldwater scholarship and his dedication to his career in chemistry and climate change have left everyone in awe. The community eagerly anticipates his future endeavors and is confident that he will continue to make it proud.

Kelly Blanco


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