Senior Becomes First Rutgers Student(Engineering)-Athlete to Receive Distinguished Honor
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers men’s cross country and track & field student-athlete Simon Gordonov (East Windsor, N.J.) was named the recipient of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, a nationally-awarded honor. The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship was authorized by the United States Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. “I mostly attribute this scholarship to my Biomedical Engineering department and the opportunities that Rutgers has afforded me,” said Gordonov. “To represent Rutgers on a national level is the greatest honor. I have had the opportunity to represent Rutgers in athletics and with this scholarship; it’s very rewarding to do so in academics and scientific research.” Gordonov, who is entering his senior year, carries a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade-point-average as a Biomedical Engineering major. Athletically, he has been a consistent performer on the both the cross country and track squads for the past three years. In his rookie season, Gordonov received the Glen Kuryla Award as the team’s most outstanding freshman in cross country. Following his senior year at Rutgers, Gordonov hopes to take a year from academics to pursue a full-time research experience either in the U.S. or overseas, before continuing to further his degree. Gordonov plans to apply to various MD/PhD programs with the ultimate goal of a career in clinical research. “It’s terrific and this couldn’t happen to a harder working kid,” said head men’s cross country/track & field coach Mike Mulqueen. “What’s even more impressive is that he commutes to Rutgers everyday which makes it tougher and adds to the accomplishment. To handle the coursework and compete in a collegiate sport shows the diligence he has and his commitment. Simon is very self-motivated and I can’t say enough good things about him. This is a great achievement for him and the University.” Gordonov also earned the distinction of being the first Rutgers University student-athlete to receive the Goldwater Award. The creation of the scholarship pays tribute to the leadership, courage, and vision of Senator Goldwater and establishes in his name an endowed recognition program to foster and encourage excellence in science and mathematics. The purpose of the program is to alleviate a critical shortage of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. It also aims to provide a continuing source of highly qualified individuals to those fields of academic study and research. The Foundation awards undergraduate scholarships to outstanding students in the spring for use during the following academic years. The awards are made on the basis of merit to those who will be college juniors or seniors in the academic year in which the scholarship will be used, and who intend to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. Each scholarship covers expenses for tuition, books, fees, and room and board, to a maximum of $7,500 per year. In awarding scholarships, the Foundation considers the nominee's field of study and career objectives and the extent to which that individual has the commitment and potential to make a significant contribution to his or her field. It is expected that students selected as scholars will pursue advanced degrees.