Pearl River Community College

Pearl River Alumna awarded prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

A Pearl River Community College alumna, Alyssa Necaise, has recently been recognized for her research efforts as a recipient of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. 

Necaise is from Kiln, where she attended Hancock High School. Once she joined the Wildcat Family, she became involved in many on campus organizations. Necaise was a River Navigator, member of Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, a tutor and peer mentor at Student Support Services, a STEM Club member and was President of both the Dr. William Lewis Honors College and the Phi Theta Kappa Iota Mu Chapter. After graduating from PRCC with her Associates Degree, she transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi where she is currently majoring in polymer science and engineering. She received several transfer scholarships including the Chemours Future of Chemistry for Women Scholarship, PRCC Presidential Transfer Scholarship, Phi Theta Kappa Leadership Transfer Scholarship, Phi Theta Kappa Academic Transfer Scholarship and USM Honors Keystone Scholar Scholarship. Necaise now serves as Vice President of both The Polymer Science Association and the student SAMPE chapter at USM while pursuing her honors research thesis focused on optimization of thermal and electrical conductivity of carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites. Necaise would like to continue her career working as an aerospace polymer composites engineer upon graduating. 

“I am thrilled to receive such a prestigious scholarship among such a distinguished group of peers,” Necaise said. “This scholarship means a great deal to me as well as my future. I am completely humbled to be recognized and able to represent first generation college students as well as women in STEM. I attribute any success in my career largely to my roots at PRCC, the excellent chemistry and mathematics department, and, most importantly, the community of supportive staff and professors unique to the River. 

“I could not have asked for a better experience before transferring to USM.” 

From an estimated pool of more than 5,000 college sophomores and juniors, 1,256 natural science, engineering and mathematics students were nominated by 438 academic institutions to compete for the 2021 Goldwater scholarships. Of students who reported, 198 of the Scholars are men, 207 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their highest degree objective. Fifty-one Scholars are mathematics and computer science majors, 291 are majoring in the natural sciences, and 68 are majoring in engineering. Many of the Scholars have published their research in leading professional journals and have presented their work at professional society conferences.

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 Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years in the U.S. Senate.

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