NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Hilltopper alum and current Rutgers University sophomore Brandon Gomes is one of three Scarlet Knights undergraduates who have been awarded Goldwater Scholarships for academic excellence.

Gomes, a Summit High School Class of 2017 graduate, was joined in the accolade by juniors Mariya Galochkina and Rikab Gambhir. marking the 14th consecutive year that a Rutgers - New Brunswick student was selected as a Goldwater scholar, a scholarship which honors the late Senator Barry Goldwater and is designed to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics and natural sciences and engineering.

Brandon Gomes, a sophomore majoring in physics and mathematics in the School of Arts and Sciences who developed a love for science in high school because of a dedicated teacher, and plans on becoming a physics professor.

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The trio was selected to compete for the 2019 Goldwater scholarship from a pool of 1,223 students nominated by 442 colleges and universities throughout the country. The scholarship includes up to $7,500 a year for tuition, fees, books and room and board for up to two years.

The students credit motivation, dedication and passion for their academic success as well as professors who provide opportunities to learn with research scientists.

Gomes told rutgers.edu,said even after finding inspiration from a high school teacher, John Paul Chou, a professor at Rutgers further sparked his love of physics.

“He gave me the opportunity and the resources I needed to approach my questions about the universe in a meaningful and scientific way and has played a very important role in my education as a physicist but especially as a research scientist,” he said.

Arthur D. Casciato, director of Rutgers’ Office of Distinguished Fellowships, said, "Even though this year’s candidate pool was an unusually rich one, our nominating committee reached easy and perfect consensus on Mariya, Brandon and Rikab,” Casciato said. “It’s very exciting to have our high opinion of these three marvelously talented young scientists confirmed by their selection as Goldwater scholars.”