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Two UW–Madison students awarded prestigious 2023 Goldwater Scholarships

April 10, 2023 By Doug Erickson
Carl Shirley (left) and Paul Chung (right) stand outside a large plate glass window reflecting the street in front of them.

Carl Shirley (left) and Paul Chung (right) are each recipients of the 2023 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for undergraduate excellence in the sciences. Shirley is a molecular and cell biology major. Chung is a computer sciences and data science major. Photo: Taylor Wolfram

University of Wisconsin–Madison juniors Yi Won (Paul) Chung and Carl Shirley have been named winners of 2023 Barry Goldwater Scholarships, the premier undergraduate scholarship in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering in the United States.

Both students intend to pursue careers in research — Shirley to help patients overcome resistance to immunotherapy, Chung to make the world more cybersecure.

Goldwater Scholarships encourage and promote the next generation of scientific talent and are among the most prestigious awards in the country for undergraduates.

“We are so proud of Paul and Carl and congratulate them on this honor,” says Julie Stubbs, director of UW’s Office of Undergraduate Academic Awards. “They are already making significant contributions to their fields with the support of faculty mentors committed to undergraduate research.”

Each Goldwater Scholarship provides as much as $7,500 each year for as many as two years of undergraduate study. A total of 413 Goldwater Scholars were selected this year based on academic merit from a field of more than 5,000 applicants nationwide.

More about UW–Madison’s winners:

  • Chung is majoring in computer sciences and data science with comprehensive honors. He began his cybersecurity research while still in high school in his native South Korea, working with Professor Chang Hoon Kim at Daegu University. Chung’s family immigrated to the U.S. to provide him with more educational and research opportunities. At UW–Madison, he has undertaken research with professors Rahul Chatterjee and Kassem Fawaz at MadS&P, the computer security and privacy research group on campus, and he has interned with the university’s Office of Cybersecurity. Additionally, in summer 2022, Chung completed a research opportunity with Dr. Hanan Hibshi at the Information Networking Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Chung is the first author on one published manuscript and the co-author on two others, and he currently has four additional manuscripts under submission. Chung plans to pursue a doctorate in computer science. He will be visiting the Max Planck Institute in Germany this summer for additional research opportunities.
  • Shirley is from Bristol, New Hampshire, and is majoring in molecular and cell biology with comprehensive honors. He started research at a pancreatic cancer lab while in high school, working with Professor Kristen Johnson at the University of New Hampshire. Since his freshman year at UW–Madison, he has worked with Professor Nihal Ahmad, whose lab focuses on novel molecular pathways in the process of melanoma development. Shirley received a competitive research fellowship from the Provost’s Office, allowing him to start an independent project, and he earned co-authorship on a published review article. As a 2022 Amgen Scholar, Shirley worked in the cancer biology lab of Professor Gerard Blobe at Duke University, earning co-authorship on a research manuscript in submission. In 2023, Shirley received the Undergraduate Scholar Award from the American Association for Cancer Research. He recently submitted a review article as first author, which is currently under revision. He plans to pursue a doctorate in cancer immunology.

Congress established the Barry Goldwater Scholarship & Excellence in Education Foundation in 1986. Goldwater served in the U.S. Senate for over 30 years and challenged Lyndon B. Johnson for the presidency in 1964. A list of past winners from UW–Madison can be found here.