2022 Goldwater Scholar

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Lauren Tan

Third-year chemistry undergraduate researcher Laurie Tan (Caram group) is one of two UCLA students to be named Goldwater Scholars in 2022. 

The prestigious national scholarship supports students who show promise of being part of the next generation of research leaders. The Goldwater Scholars were chosen on the basis of academic merit from a pool of 1,242 natural science, engineering, and mathematics students nominated by the institutional representatives of 433 colleges and universities nationwide. 

Established in 1989 by Congress to honor the work of the late Senator Barry Goldwater, the award is given to sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue careers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering. Goldwater Scholarships cover the cost of tuition, mandatory fees, books and room and board minus the amount of support provided for by other sources, up to a maximum of $7,500 per full academic year.

Laurie’s career goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry and lead research on light-matter interactions of nanoscale materials as a tenured University professor. In Professor Justin Caram’s group, Laurie studies the synthesis and characterization of II-IV semiconductor nanocrystals, and is currently working on developing an optimized and programmable synthesis method. She was co-mentored by graduate student Stephanie Tenney and former postdoctoral researcher and current assistant professor at Denison University Professor Timothy Atallah.  

“Laurie has been a key member of our research group, generating new ideas, directions and pushing our science forward,” Caram said. “It’s a joy to work with her, and benefit from her incredible enthusiasm and creativity”.

In 2020, Laurie received the department’s Ethel Terry McCoy Award for Outstanding Women students in Chemistry & Biochemistry, which is given to outstanding female chemistry and biochemistry students.  She also received the department’s 2020 Raymond and Dorothy Wilson Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship and the UCLA Honors Program Summer Research Fellowship. In 2020-2021, her research was supported by UCLA’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

In 2021, Lauren received the department’s 2021 Daniel Kivelson Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship and the UCLA Honors Program Summer Research Fellowship for her independent project. Her research for 2021-2022 was supported by the UCLA Undergraduate Research Scholars Program,

Laurie is the Vice President of UCLA’s Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS) and has led the development of the club’s mentorship program to help members gain academic, research, and other professional development advice from upperclassmen. In her free time, she enjoys doing jigsaw puzzles and playing ping pong. 

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, penny@chem.ucla.edu.