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Pitt has 2 new Goldwater Scholars

  • University News
  • Technology & Science
  • David C. Frederick Honors College
  • Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

The University of Pittsburgh has two Goldwater Scholars for 2024: Oluwatofunmi Abiola and Richard Fang. The prestigious award celebrates college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering.

“The Goldwater is the most prestigious STEM-specific award available to undergraduates nationally,” said Nicola Foote, dean of Pitt’s David C. Frederick Honors College. “As Goldwater Scholars, Richard and Oluwatofunmi have been identified as producing research on the cutting edge of scientific knowledge, and as emerging stars of the future. For Pitt and the Frederick Honors College to have two Goldwater Scholars in a single year is a truly outstanding accomplishment, and I am so proud of our students and their incredible work. Richard and Oluwatofunmi show what is possible at Pitt.”

Pitt’s winners were selected out of a pool of 1,353 applicants and are among 438 winners. Barry Goldwater Scholars receive a scholarship that contributes up to $7,500 during each of the two award years to cover tuition, fees, books and room and board. This year’s winners follow in the footsteps of Grace Fleury, Pitt's 2023 Goldwater Scholar, and 64 others in Pitt’s history.

Meet the winners


Abiola, a junior in the Frederick Honors College and Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, has been recognized for neuropsychiatric research. At Pitt, she is studying neuroscience, with a minor in economics. Abiola was also named the 2022 Ella P. Stewart scholar at Pitt.

“I am strongly honored to accept the Goldwater Scholarship,” Abiola said. “It is truly a great honor, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I am particularly grateful for everyone who has helped me during this process from friends and family to mentors for their guidance, prayers and support.”

Fang, a junior in the Dietrich School and Frederick Honors College, has been honored for his multidisciplinary research in sociology and molecular biology. He is minoring in chemistry, computer science and global health. Fang was also named a 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholar.

Fang“I’m so incredibly grateful for this honor and for all the amazing mentorship that has helped me achieve my goal. I’d especially like to thank Drs. Katherine Aird and Naveen Tangudu for helping me develop as a researcher. I know I would not have achieved this without them, and I am so grateful,” Fang said. “While this is an incredible honor, this is just the beginning and I’m excited to see where my journey takes me. I hope this is a testament to my passion for science, as I look forward to learning and contributing to our collective scientific knowledge.”

Learn more about how the Frederick Honors College helps students and alumni win national and global scholarships.


­— Donovan Harrell, top photo by Aimee Obidzinski