Goldwater Scholar Profiles: Purdue Honors College

Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series on 2014 Goldwater Scholarship winners who are students in public university honors programs.

Haefa Mansour – College of Engineering and Honors College

A major in Chemical Engineering, Haefa Mansour is a junior from Mentor, Ohio who intends to pursue a research-oriented career as a professor of chemical/biomolecular engineering and to focus on new protein-based materials for better surgical adhesives. Haefa has worked extensively in the Birck Nanotechnology Center and progressed with her team to the world competition of the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition in 2012. She has worked closely with her mentor, Dr. Julie Liu, Professor of Chemical Engineering, on protein and tissue engineering at Purdue.

Ms. Mansour is actively involved with the Stamps Scholars Program which is also under the HC umbrella.

“Taking the leadership initiative as a freshman, Haefa was named Assistant Director of the Purdue Student Government. She was selected to participate in a weekly leadership session instructed by France Cordova, President of Purdue University, and other important Purdue faculty. Haefa was also named Chairperson of the Engineering Honors Learning Community and is responsible for managing the events hosted by this group of honors engineering students.”

 Sean McDowell – College of Engineering and Honors College

Sean McDowell, from Stevensville, Michigan, is pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering with the goal of developing next-generation prosthetic limbs that improve the body’s interaction with a motor prosthesis through a neural interface. He received the Industrial Roundtable Scholarship from Cognizant Technology Solutions and has also presented his research at the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium. He has conducted research in Purdue’s NeuroProstheses Research Laboratory with Dr. Kevin Otto, Professor of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering.

Mr. McDowell has been an integral part of the HONR mentor program since its inception in 2012. He currently serves as one of two mentor captains in Honors College and will serve as the head mentor in 2015.

“If I hadn’t had been involved with the Honors College, I never would have applied for the Goldwater Scholarship. [An HC faculty member] brought up the idea my sophomore year when mentoring for the first-year honors seminar, and then she kept encouraging me to apply through the start of my junior year. Although the research I wrote about is focused on my work in biomedical engineering, my work with the Honors College helped reinforce the balance of skills I needed to be a successful candidate.” – Sean McDowell  April 15, 2014

Nicholas Pogranichniy – College of Science and University Honors Program

Sophomore Nicholas Pogranichniy is from West Lafayette, Indiana, and is a Biochemistry major who plans to pursue a Ph.D in Chemistry. He has worked closely in the lab with Dr. Simpson, Professor of Analytical and Physical Chemistry.  Although the Goldwater Scholarship is open to sophomores and juniors, it is much more challenging for sophomores to win.  This year, only 16% of the scholarships were awarded to sophomores.