News & Stories
May 3, 2022

Berry Student Wins 2022 Goldwater Scholarship  

A Berry College student is one of 417 college students in the U.S. to be named a 2022 Goldwater Scholar. 

Senior biochemistry and biology major Sydney Nelson, of Birmingham, Alabama, is conducting translational research in drug discovery to develop personalized treatment for patients with previously untreatable illnesses. She plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. in chemical biology after graduation in December. 

The purpose of the Goldwater Scholar program is to identify and support college students who show exceptional promise of becoming this nation’s next generation of natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering research leaders. These undergraduates demonstrate a passion for doing research and exhibit the creative spark that will make them leaders in their fields.

The prestigious scholarship program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater gives students an annual amount equal to 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. 

Nelson was nominated by her mentor, Berry College Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Mark Turlington.  

“When I was a senior in high school, he invited me to a program that he runs called the ‘Science Scholars Program’, where science students with a research interest are paired with a mentor during their freshman year,” Nelson said. “I was able to talk to him about pursuing meaningful research as an undergraduate, and he even brought up the Goldwater Scholarship and sent me an article about another Berry College student who had won the award.”   

Turlington calls Nelson a phenomenal student and researcher. 

“She has pioneered a new anticancer research project in my lab developing molecules that can degrade cancer-causing proteins.  In this project, Sydney has mastered both complex organic synthesis and cellular biology and operates on a graduate student level,” he added.  

Nelson is the fourth Berry student to receive a Goldwater in the past 5 years.  

“All we needed to do was understand what makes a successful Goldwater applicant, and then start providing our students the opportunities and coaching they need to be successful in the Goldwater competition ... Especially important has been the summer research our students do," he said. 

To learn more about the Biology Department at Berry, please visit:  



Written by Public Relations Student Assistant Carson King 

Office of Public Relations

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