September 3, 2019

Kadlubowski, Tesmer earn nationally prestigious Goldwater Scholarships

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Two Purdue University students have earned the Goldwater Scholarship, the nation’s preeminent scholarship for undergraduates in mathematics, natural sciences or engineering. Natalie Kadlubowski and Alex Tesmer, both in their third year, are Purdue’s 50th and 51st Goldwater Scholars. Congress established the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation in 1986. The highly competitive award offers up to $7,500 toward tuition, fees and board to sophomores and juniors seeking research careers.

“Natalie and Alex are outstanding students who have embraced the importance of undergraduate research,” said Rhonda Phillips, dean of Purdue’s Honors College. “The Goldwater Scholarship emphasizes and rewards those students who excel in this area. Additionally, they have embraced community involvement and interdisciplinary thinking that is so important to a well-rounded education. We look forward to watching their continued growth in research and academia.”

Alex Tesmer Alex Tesmer
Download image

Tesmer is working toward dual majors in biochemistry and neurobiology and physiology in the College of Science. The Lafayette, Indiana, native is also a member of Honors College. He plans to pursue a career investigating brain-computer interfaces, which provide a platform for communication between synthetic devices and neurons within the human body.

“The Goldwater Scholarship is an avenue through which I can advance my scientific interests in neuroscience and beyond,” Tesmer said.

Tesmer has spent time studying abroad in Switzerland at ETH Zurich, stretching his biochemistry background with engineering studies at the prominent research institution. He is also engaged in research at Purdue, investigating the neuroscience of opioid addiction with Mathew Tantama, assistant professor of chemistry.

The third-year student has also proven himself adept at teaching others as well, serving as a teaching assistant in Purdue’s Department of Biological Sciences. As part of Purdue’s neuroscience society, he helped lead community outreach efforts during Brain Awareness Week. Rounding out his talents and expertise, Tesmer also played the cello in the Purdue Symphony Orchestra.
Natlie Kadlubowski Natlie Kadlubowski
Download image

“We are thrilled Natalie and Alex have been recognized for their outstanding scholarship and passion for science,” said Dennis Minchella, associate dean for undergraduate education in the College of Science. “Both students are pursuing double majors and have engaged in extensive research endeavors during their time at Purdue.”

Kadlubowski is a member of the College of Engineering, College of Science, and Honors College. She is pursuing two majors, chemical engineering and chemistry, and aspires to advance research in drug delivery through nanoparticles. The undergraduate has already co-authored two publications in her field as part of her undergraduate research with Jianguo Mei, assistant professor of organic chemistry, in Purdue’s Laboratory for Polymer Innovation for Advanced Organic Electronics.

The Lebanon, Ohio, native also teaches Spanish to fourth-grade students as part of the “Aprendiendo a Leer” program and helped coordinate lab tours and events with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers at Purdue.

“The Goldwater Scholarship will help me as I finish my last year as an undergraduate and prepare to apply for graduate school, where I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in chemical engineering,” Natalie said. “I'm so grateful for all the help I've received along the way from my professors and research mentors, who inspire me to pursue a career in research.”

“We are so excited that Natalie, one of the outstanding students majoring in chemical engineering, has been selected for the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship,” said Mung Chiang, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering. “Her academic and leadership activities, as well as research in polymer science as an undergraduate, illustrate the remarkable learning opportunities for our students in and outside of classroom.”

Students who pursue Goldwater Scholarships participate in a competitive, campuswide process through Purdue’s National and International Scholarships Office (NISO) to select Purdue’s nominees for this national honor. NISO is housed in Honors College and works with Purdue’s aspiring Goldwater applicants in the fall of each year. 

Media contact: Joseph Paul, 765-494-9541,

Source: Lindsay Perrault,

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-22 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at