Lauren Blachorsky ’15 Macaulay Honors College at Queens College wins prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

Lauren Blachorsky and Dr. Carolyn Pytte

Lauren Blachorsky, with her mentor, Queens College associate professor Dr. Carolyn Pytte.  ©Audrey C. Tiernan

Lauren Blachorsky, a neuroscience major at Macaulay Honors College at Queens College has been awarded the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the nation’s premier award for undergraduates majoring in math, science and engineering.  As a Goldwater Scholar, Lauren will receive a scholarship to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

Three Macaulay Honors College students received Goldwater honorable mentions including: Nicholas Crispi ’15  (Hunter), a mathematics major with a focus on commutative algebra; Jennifer Zagelbaum ’15 (Hunter), a molecular biology student researching genomic integrity; and Lucinda Zawadzki ’15 (College of Staten Island), a biochemistry major researching the pollution of marine ecosystems. “We are so proud of our students and look forward to a lifetime of contributions in their chosen fields of science and mathematics,” said Macaulay University Dean Ann Kirschner.

Congress established this federally funded award in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue research careers in these fields.

Blachorsky is a student in the Queens College Neuroscience Honors Program with a biology concentration and a minor in chemistry. She has worked in laboratories on campus since her freshman year and spent last summer at the MIT Summer Research Program. Her research with Dr. Carolyn Pytte at Queens, in collaboration with Dr. Cheryl Harding at Hunter, covers the cognitive and neural effects of mold exposure on mice, with the aim of better understanding the detrimental effect of such exposure and developing ways to prevent resultant cognitive deficits.  “It is an incredible honor to be named a Goldwater Scholar, and I could not have done it without everyone who helped me with this achievement,” said Lauren. “This award is invaluable in motivating me to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.”

“Every time I hear Lauren present her research, I’m reminded once again what a great public scientist she is,” says Dr. Mike Lamb, Macaulay’s Scholar-in-Residence. “She combines a powerful, precise intellect with a warmth enthusiasm about science that draws in experts and non-experts alike.”

The Goldwater Foundation awarded 283 scholarships for the 2014-2015 academic year. Goldwater scholars were selected in a highly competitive process on the basis of academic merit from more than 1,000 mathematics, science, and engineering students that were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.

Blachorsky, Crispi, and Zagelbaum are all members of Macaulay’s Horace W. Goldsmith Scholars Program—an internal scholarship founded 11 years ago which provides mentoring and specialized advisement to support students applying for national scholarships.  Since its inception, Goldsmith Scholars have won dozens of prestigious national awards including the Rhodes, National Science Foundation, Truman, Mitchell, and Fulbright.

About Macaulay Honors College

Macaulay Honors College at The City University of New York offers exceptional students a uniquely personalized education with access to the vast resources of the nation’s largest urban university and New York City itself.   Selected for their top high school records and leadership potential, Macaulay students receive a full-tuition scholarship, a laptop and technology support, and an Opportunities Fund to pursue global learning and service opportunities. Macaulay students enroll in one of eight CUNY senior colleges (Baruch, Brooklyn, City, Hunter, John Jay, Lehman, Queens and Staten Island). For more information, see

Photo:  Lauren Blachorsky with her mentor, Dr. Carol Pytte.  Photo credit:  Audrey C. Tiernan