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Aerospace engineering student wins Goldwater Scholarship

Madison Maloney, 2017-18 NC State 2018 Goldwater Scholarship recipient (Photo: Alsace Gallop, 2018)
Madison Maloney (Photo: Alsace Gallop)

Madison Maloney, a junior studying aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University, is the University’s 51st Goldwater Scholar. Maloney is the first woman at NC State to receive a Goldwater Scholarship since 2015.

Maloney came to NC State from Greenville, NC, as a Park Scholar and a Coca-Cola Scholar, and is part of the University Honors Program. She was selected as a 2017 Astronaut Scholar and intends to earn a Ph.D. in aeronautics and astronautics, with the goal of conducting research at either NASA or a national lab on the topic of human space exploration systems.

She has conducted research since summer 2016 under the mentorship of Dr. Scott Ferguson in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and counts graduate student Samantha White and Dr. Tyler Hudson at NASA Langley Research Center as project mentors.

Maloney is an Engineering Ambassador, serves as director of the Student Government Athletics Department and treasurer for the campus chapter of Sigma Gamma Tau. She is studying Russian to prepare for collaboration with Russian engineers in a space exploration career.

“Applying for the Goldwater helped me learn to tell my story,” said Maloney. “It required me to think deeply about the reasons I originally began to pursue a career in human space exploration and why I hope to use research as a vehicle of contribution to the field.”

The Goldwater Scholarship is distributed by The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, which was established by Congress in 1986. The award is described as the most distinguished undergraduate award of its kind, and it includes up to $7,500 annually in eligible education expenses for college sophomores and juniors currently studying the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering in the United States who have potential to conduct research and plan to pursue research careers in those same fields.

Benjamen O’Hallaron, a junior from Raleigh, NC, was selected as NC State’s 2018 Goldwater Honorable Mention. He is majoring in plant biology and minoring in ecology.