Sebo Diaz is a Goldwater Scholarship recipient and rising senior at the University of Arizona, studying biomedical engineering and mathematics. His list of involvement on the University’s campus is impressive, as he previously served as President of the American Indian & Indigenous Health Alliance (AIIHA), and currently serves as Vice President of the Biomedical Engineering Society. Diaz recently finished up working his second summer for the MIT MRI Group— directing a project to “develop new methods and machine learning algorithms/approaches to achieve repeatable and reliable metabolite identification in fetuses through magnetic resonance spectroscopy techniques.”
Diaz first heard about the Goldwater Scholarship from a flier on campus during his sophomore year. He applied that fall and was chosen as the university nominee, but ultimately did not get selected for the national pool. To his surprise, after applying again during his junior year, Diaz was selected as a Goldwater grantee.
“I believe the scholarship directly resulted from the people in my life (mentors, peers, parents) who constantly remind me of what I am capable of achieving.” said Diaz, when asked how he felt about winning the award. He worked closely with the staff at ONCS throughout his application process as well, fine tuning his application and thoughtfully seeking guidance.
The Goldwater Scholarship is one of the most prestigious scholarships for sophomores and juniors who have a focus in natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics and intend to pursue research-oriented careers in one or more of those fields. The intent of the award is to encourage and support students financially who are showing promise in STEM. The scholarship covers eligible expenses such as undergraduate tuition, fees, books, and room and board.
Diaz aspires to become a physician-scientist, assisting individuals in the clinic and investigating new medical imaging techniques in the lab. Diaz, like most undergraduates, is unsure exactly what the future will hold for his career, but he hopes to look back on his work knowing that he had meaningful patient interactions, and contributed to significant research.
“Sebo is an excellent student who is curious, hard-working, and kind. Based on the work Sebo has done I believe he will make an impact on the scientific community as he advances his studies and research. On top of being a current Goldwater scholar, Sebo is a previous Udall scholar, and I have no doubt he will go on and win additional competitive scholarships in his future.”
- Valeria Quijada, Assistant Director, Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships
Tips From the Staff at ONCS
1. Apply early: it gives you more time to create an application plan, write proposals and personal statements, and connect with faculty and others who will write letters of support for you.
2. Connect with previous applicants, both at the University of Arizona and beyond. Understanding how others approached the application process, and what they got out of it, can help to inspire and focus your efforts.
3. There isn't one "right" profile that makes an applicant competitive. We have amazing students at the University of Arizona who can be competitive applicants and we are eager for students of all interests and backgrounds to take a step forward and apply.
4. We are here to provide support, mentoring and encouragement through the process!