Taylor Bias, a junior at Ball State University, has been awarded a Barry Goldwater Scholarship, one of America’s most prestigious scholarships for undergraduates who intend to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research.

Ms. Bias, an Honors College student from Elkhart, Ind., has a major in biochemistry and minors in biology and studio art. After completing a doctorate in biochemistry, she plans to launch a career conducting research in protein-ligand interactive molecular chemistry and teaching at the university level.

Ms. Bias is the 15th Ball State student to receive the Goldwater Scholarship, along with nine others who have received honorable mention. She was one of 438 sophomores and juniors selected this year from a pool of 1,353 students nominated by colleges and universities nationwide.

“I want to advance knowledge of protein-ligand interactions to help address health concerns, such as immune responses to infection and disease—and I want to do so as a faculty member engaged in both teaching and research,” Ms. Bias said. “My goal is to work in a team of students and scientists contributing to scientific understanding. In doing so, I want to mentor students in deciding what they want from their own research journeys and give these students the same support that I am currently receiving.”

Ms. Bias has been a research assistant in the lab of Dr. Mary Konkle, associate professor of chemistry, since January 2022, initially through Ball State’s Teacher-Scholar Program. She also spent a summer conducting research at Roche Diagnostics in Indianapolis. Her many other pursuits include active participation in Indiana LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation, an NSF-funded program) and Ball State’s Student Affiliates of the American Chemistry Society. She is also a teaching assistant for organic chemistry.

Ms. Bias has given several presentations about her research at the national, state, and campus levels, and she was fifth author for a 2022 article that appeared in ACS Chemical Biology. That same year, she was awarded a national ACS (American Chemical Society) Scholarship, and at the 2023 National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers’ conference, she won first place for a poster presentation.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 to serve as a living memorial to honor the lifetime work of Sen. Barry Goldwater. By providing scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in STEM fields, the Goldwater Foundation is helping ensure that the U.S. is producing the number of highly-qualified professionals the nation needs in these critical fields. For more information, visit goldwaterscholarship.gov.