LSU Ogden Honors College and College of Science junior Ashley Curran received an honorable mention from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program.

“The Goldwater Scholarship is the most prestigious undergraduate award given in the sciences. LSU and the Ogden Honors College are proud to have been a part of preparing so many phenomenal students like Ashley for consequential scientific careers,” said Ogden Honors College Dean Jonathan Earle.

There were 252 Goldwater Scholarships awarded for the 2016-17 academic year, a news release said. The 2016 Goldwater scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,150 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the institutional representatives of 415 colleges and universities nationwide.

“Ashley has taken advantage of research opportunities from the very start of her LSU career,” Office of Fellowship Advising Director Drew Lamonica Arms said. “I’m so pleased the Goldwater Foundation has recognized her outstanding abilities, potential and commitment to biomedical research. Ashley’s success is a testament to the nationally competitive research that undergraduates can embrace at LSU.”

Curran, a native of Baton Rouge, is studying molecular and cellular biology in the LSU College of Science.

“I enjoy the creativity involved in the research design process and the knowledge that even the smallest experiments are all part of a larger process of discovery,” Curran said. “Even on the most frustrating days of failed experiments, the potential of my project to help others in the ongoing fight against cancer and to actively participate in the expansion of knowledge motivates me and helps me not to lose my enjoyment of day-to-day research.”

After graduation, Curran plans to pursue a master’s degree in biochemistry and a doctorate in immunology from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany, before conducting immunological research, specifically in the fields of cancer and autoimmune disease research.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by public law 99-661 on Nov. 14, 1986. The scholarship program honoring Sen. Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.