Two UMBC Students Named 2006 Goldwater Scholars

Published: Apr 24, 2006

Two UMBC Students Named 2006 Goldwater Scholars


Two UMBC students are among the 323 sophomores and juniors who have been named 2006 Goldwater Scholars. The prestigious scholarship program honors outstanding students majoring in science, mathematics and engineering who are committed to pursuing careers as research scientists.

Adjoa Smalls-Mantey, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Adjoa Smalls-Mantey, a junior with a 3.95 cumulative GPA, is one of several UMBC students conducting research in UMBC’s Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Smalls-Mantey, from Upper Marlboro, Md., has worked in the lab since her freshman year. Her research involves improving the mechanics of gene therapy by focusing on the Moloney Murine Leukemia Virus (MMLV). She has participated in the Gene Search Program at Catholic University where she first learned basic lab principles. She also conducted research at Howard University and participated in the Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan-Kettering Gateways to the Laboratory Program, the first in the country designed exclusively to train undergraduate students to become successful MD-Ph.D applicants.

“This award will help support my goal not only financially, but it also provides me with the resources and networking opportunities as a scholar and researcher,” said Smalls-Mantey.

Smalls-Mantey is a trainee for the M inority Access to Research Careers (MARC), Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research Program, UMBC’s preeminent undergraduate scholarship program that aims to increase the number of persons from underrepresented groups who pursue Ph.D. degrees and careers in biomedical research or mathematics. A Meyerhoff and HHMI Scholar, Smalls-Mantey is a member of the Honors College and Golden Key International Honor Society. This year, she helped establish Fellowship Under God’s Influence, a student organization based on Seventh-day Adventist beliefs. Off campus, she is the deputy director of Pathfinder, a Christian scouting organization for children at her church.

Smalls-Mantey expects to graduate in spring 2007 and plans to pursue a M.D./Ph.D degree, specializing in immunology.

Devin Burns, Mechanical Engineering

Devin Burns, a sophomore with a 4.0 cumulative GPA, has great aspirations of obtaining a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering with a focus on renewable energy systems and starting his own research lab.

For several years, Burns has worked as a research intern in the College Qualified Science and Engineering Apprentice Program at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. There he investigated mathematical tools to help detect and analyze deceptive activities by opposing forces. He also taught science and math to students in grades 8-11 as part of an outreach program at ARL.

Currently, Burns conducts research in the lab of Marc Zupan, UMBC assistant professor of mechanical engineering. He is studying the advanced materials of mechanical properties. Burns, from Smithsburg, Md., studied abroad in China and Vietnam during Winter Session 2006. He is a Meyerhoff Scholar, a member of the Golden Key International Honors Society and will soon be inducted in Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society. He also enjoys intramural sports at UMBC and is a member of the Running Club.

For additional information about the types of prestigious scholarships available, how to apply for them or to read about previous winners, visit

Below are updates on UMBC’s 2005 Goldwater Scholars. All three students have maintained a 4.0 cumulative GPA.

Michael Aaron is a junior pursuing dual degrees in mechanical engineering and biological sciences with a minor in writing. Aaron recently went on his first international rugby tour. He accompanied the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Rugby Team to Paris, France where they faced off against Institut National d’Agronomie de Paris Grignon and won 24-7.  He met the team this past summer while conducting cellular mechanics research as part of the MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP) in biology.  He has worked in labs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and at Case Western Reserve University.  A MARC, Meyerhoff and McNair Scholar, Aaron is the captain of UMBC’s Rugby Team, an active member in Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society, and a Learning Resource  Center tutor. 

Andrew Kohlway is a senior MARC and Meyerhoff Scholar who has had outstanding summer lab experiences at a consortium of research universities in Pittsburgh and at Yale University. He is majoring in bioinformatics with a minor in mathematics. After graduating from UMBC in May, he will enter Yale University’s Ph.D. program in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. He recently received an honorable mention from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship competition. He will present some of the research that he has conducted in the lab of Daniele Fabris, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, at the UMBC Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day on April 26.

Stephanie Nunez is a junior biochemistry and molecular biology major with a minor in modern languages and linguistics. In January 2006, she studied abroad in Granada, Spain. She currently interns with Anandarup Gupta, assistant professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Dental School. She will present her research at UMBC’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day. Nunez is a MARC, Meyerhoff and HHMI Schoar. She recently was awarded the Alumni Association Outstanding Student Award in Biochemistry. A member of UMBC’s Honors College, Nunez also serves as an officer in the Golden Key International Honor Society. For the past three years, she has played the bass clarinet for the UMBC Chamber Players. This summer she will be interning at Stanford University for the second time.








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