Meet the five Stanford undergrads honored as 2024 Goldwater Scholars: Jaeah Kim, Sidra Yang Xu, Andrei Mandelshtam, Julie Yu Chen, and Cyrus M Hajian. (Image credit: Andrew Brodhead)

Five Stanford undergraduates have been awarded the 2024 Barry Goldwater Scholarship, designed to foster and encourage students to pursue research careers in the fields of the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics.

This year’s recipients are Julie Chen, Cyrus Hajian, Jaeah Kim, Andrei Mandelshtam, and Sidra Xu.

The 2024 award winners are among 438 Goldwater Scholars selected from 1,353 nominees nationally. Stanford has had a total of 109 Goldwater Scholars since the first scholarship was awarded in 1989.

Each Goldwater Scholar receives a sum equal to the cost of tuition, mandatory fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. Students who receive the award as sophomores receive support for up to two years; students who receive the award as juniors receive support for up to one year.

“As someone who transferred to Stanford from a community college, being recognized as a Goldwater Scholar is incredibly meaningful to me,” said Cyrus Hajian. “This award isn’t just a recognition of my passion and dedication to research, but also a professional milestone achieved through the collective support of my mentors and peers. As a nontraditional student from an underrepresented background, I aim to continue to show that successful scientists can come from a variety of different paths.”

Award recipient Julie Chen added, “[This is an] opportunity to reflect on all the people who have helped, mentored, and supported me. I’m especially grateful to my parents and all of my scientific mentors … who have trained me to become a better scientist every day and taught me how to fall in love with science and the scientific process.”

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 to serve as a living memorial to honor the lifetime work of the late U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, who served for nearly six decades as a soldier and respected leader, including 30 years in the U.S. Senate.

Stanford’s Goldwater Scholarship winners for 2024:

Julie Chen, a junior, is a computer science major from Salem, Oregon. Chen plans to obtain a PhD in biology and to eventually conduct research on biological systems in development and disease.

Cyrus Hajian, a community college transfer student and current junior, is a cell, molecular, and organismal biology major from San Rafael, California. Hajian plans to pursue an MD-PhD and eventually hopes to become a physician scientist, conduct medical research, mentor underprivileged students, and teach in higher education, specifically at a community college or university.

Jaeah Kim, a junior, is a biology major from New York City. Kim is planning to pursue an MD-PhD in biomedical engineering with aspirations to teach at the university level and conduct research on the neural circuits and network dynamics involved in brain disorders.

Andrei Mandelshtam, a junior, is a math major and coterminal computer science MS student from Irvine, California. Mandelshtam plans to obtain a PhD in mathematics or theoretical computer science and to eventually become a professor at a research university.

Sidra Xu, a junior, is a double computer science and biology major from San Jose, California. Xu’s career goal is to obtain a PhD in developmental genomics and later become a physician scientist, working at the intersection of pediatrics and bioinformatics.