Erica Castillo, a junior in the
College of Engineering, has been named The University of Texas at Arlington’s
first Goldwater Scholar.
Castillo participated in summer research at Cornell University in 2011.
Castillo is a first-generation
college student from The Academy of Irving ISD is enrolled in the Honors
College. She is earning a double major in aerospace engineering and physics,
with a minor in mechanical engineering.
Castillo said she plans to research
biomechanics as part of being named a Goldwater Scholar.
“That’s always interested me,”
Castillo said. “The body is a complex system and I enjoy the biomechanics
perspective of it because it combines many of my passions.”
Castillo is involved in research
focused on structural health monitoring under the direction of Haiying Huang,
associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. Castillo plans to expand
her research to include soft biomaterials.
Castillo said her Goldwater
honor should be shared with the UT Arlington professors who have inspired her –
among them physics lecturer Barry Spurlock, aerospace engineering Professor Wen
Chan and Mahera Philobos, assistant engineering dean for retention and
Castillo, a junior engineering major, is UT Arlington's first Goldwater Scholar.
“If it wasn’t for Dr. Philobos’
urging, I’m not sure I would have applied,” Castillo said.
Elijah Stevens, a sophomore in
mechanical engineering, was awarded an honorable mention in the Goldwater
Stevens is an Iraq war veteran.
His research is in high temperature thermal protection systems under the direction
of Dragos-Stefan Dancila, associate
professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.
Congress established the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence
in Education Program in 1986 in honor of the former U.S. senator from
Arizona and 1964 presidential candidate.
The program’s goal is to encourage
a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and
engineers by awarding scholarships in the fields.
The scholarship is awarded to
about 300 college sophomores and juniors nationwide. A maximum of $7,500 per
academic year is granted. The scholarship is awarded based on merit. The amount
given is based on financial need.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.