Villanova Presidential Scholar Nicholas Ader Recognized by Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program

Goldwater is considered to be the premier undergraduate award for STEM fields of study

Nicholas Ader

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University Presidential Scholar Nicholas Ader ’15 CLAS, a junior from Clarence Center, N.Y., has been named a recipient of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, making him the 16th Villanovan since 1995 to receive the prestigious award.

Established in 1986, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is considered to be the premier undergraduate award of its type for these fields and was awarded to only 283 students nationwide for the 2014-2015 academic year. The Scholarship covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to $7,500 a year.

“Nick Ader is a remarkable student, an accomplished undergraduate research scholar, and an exceptional person, said Jane Morris, Director of the University’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. “The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship recognizes this type of excellence that is a reflection not only of Nick’s extraordinary accomplishments, but of his outstanding academic program, his wonderful faculty mentors, and the many opportunities afforded through participation in undergraduate research at Villanova.”

Ader is a double major, currently pursuing degrees in Biology and Biochemistry. Since his freshman year, he has participated in multiple undergraduate research projects at Villanova, including looking at the effects of endocrine disruptive compounds in mice and, most recently, investigating the impact of phytochemicals on the transcription of genes involved in regulating cellular responses to stress. Ader’s research experience at Villanova led to his selection as a 2013 DAAD-RISE Scholar, allowing him to spend the summer of 2013 in Germany at the University of Lübeck where he researched optimization of RNA interference pathways.

Ader is a genetics, organic chemistry and physics tutor for fellow Villanova students and he is co-chair of the Villanova chapter of Back on My Feet, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to creating independence and self-sufficiency within the homeless population by running with them to build confidence, strength and self-esteem.  He is a member of the Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellowship Steering Committee which works to promote undergraduate on-campus research. In addition, he is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honors Fraternity and the Alpha Epsilon Delta Honors Fraternity. 

Upon graduating from Villanova, Ader plans to pursue a PhD in molecular biology and eventually teach at a university.

Two other Villanovans received Honorable Mention in the Goldwater Scholarship competition.  Gregory Campbell ’14 CoE and SeHwan Kim ’15, CoE were recognized for their academic excellence and their substantive research experience.

About The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program: The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress to honor Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, who served the country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. The purpose of the Goldwater Foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.