North Central College - Naperville, IL

Maria Gommel

National Student Scholarship

During her junior year, Maria earned a Goldwater Scholarship—the highest national undergraduate award for achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Her journey to a Goldwater began upon her arrival at North Central with a passion to learn and explore in research. The summer after her sophomore year, Maria conducted mathematical modeling research on epidemiology with Professor of Mathematics Emeritus Linda Gao and two other students. She further demonstrated her commitment to excellence in all areas of study through her participation in our College Scholars Honors Program.

In addition to mentoring Maria through the research process, North Central faculty provided valuable input when it came time to prepare her Goldwater application.

“From advising to writing letters of recommendation to extending offers to assist in research projects, faculty gave me valuable advice and opportunities that no doubt strengthened my Goldwater application,” Maria said.

As a Goldwater Scholar, she garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate programs. After reviewing numerous offers, Maria enrolled in the Ph.D. program in mathematics at the University of Iowa.

“I think the Goldwater award helped me stand out from other people applying to Ph.D. programs and for competitive graduate fellowships,” she said.