VCU Student Named Goldwater Scholar

Syed Mohammed Karim
Syed Mohammed Karim

Syed Mohammed Karim, a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University, has been named a Goldwater Scholar, the premier national scholarship for undergraduate math, science and engineering students.

Karim is the sixth VCU student to receive a Goldwater Scholarship in the past three years. Karim, who is from Gaithersburg, Md., and attended Colonel Zadok Magruder High School in Rockville, Md., is a member of the VCU Honors College majoring in chemistry.

At VCU, Karim works in the lab of Maryanne Collinson, Ph.D., professor of analytical, inorganic and materials chemistry, on a project to develop an electrochemical sensor to provide live monitoring of the redox potential of blood in patients in trauma settings. In addition to his undergraduate research at VCU, he works as a teaching assistant/adjunct instructor for the Quantitative Analysis course and lab in the Department of Chemistry. He also has conducted cardiac MRI research the past two summers with Andrew Arai, M.D., a senior investigator in the Laboratory of Cardiac Energetics in the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

“Mohammed is the kind of student that every professor dreams of,” Collinson said. “He picks up on things quickly, he’s very knowledgeable and he works hard. He has all of the characteristics of an excellent student and he’s a great person to have in the lab.”

The Goldwater Scholarship Program, which honors the late Senator Barry M. Goldwater, was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. This year, 278 Goldwater Scholars were selected from a field of more than 1,000 applicants.

Scholars are selected based on academic merit and the potential to pursue a research career. The one- and two-year scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

Karim applied for the Goldwater Scholarship through the Honors College’s National Scholarship Office, which assists the best and brightest VCU students and alumni to compete for prestigious national and international scholarships.

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see