Deanna Greco, a junior biochemistry student from Cherry Hill, N.J., has been awarded a Goldwater Scholarship for her achievements in the field, making her Catholic University's first scholar recipient since 2013. The Goldwater Scholarship Program — one of the oldest and most prestigious national scholarships in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics in the United States — seeks to identify and support college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming this Nation’s next generation of research leaders in these fields.
“I'm very pleased with Deanna's accomplishments and we in the chemistry department are especially proud of her,” said Cynthia Brewer, adjunct associate professor of inorganic chemistry.
“She is a great student and a fine representative for Catholic U.,” said Katherine L. Havanki, assistant teaching professor in chemical education.
In addition to her studies, Greco (who is visually impaired) has been an activist for visual disabilities. Last October, while working with the American Chemical Society's Chemists with Disabilities, she made a presentation about accommodating blind students at a Reaching Students with Disabilities conference at City University in New York. She has also been a speaker at Dinner in the Dark, a major fundraising event for Leader Dogs for the Blind, an organization that trains Leader Dogs and pairs them with people who are blind or visually impaired.
“I was elated when I received notice that I had been awarded the Goldwater Scholarship,” Greco said. “I was aware of the fact that the selection process was very competitive and therefore was pleasantly surprised when I heard that I won. More than anything, I was happy to show that blindness does not bar a person from excelling in the sciences.”
In the future, Greco said she hopes to pursue graduate studies for biochemistry and molecular biology in order to engage in neurochemistry research and eventually teach. She is especially grateful for the support of all of her professors and their “dedication to educating young people.”
“If it were not for their passion for teaching and mentoring students, I would not be the person that I am today,” Greco said. “Their continued willingness to share their knowledge and guidance has opened many doors for me, and for this I am forever grateful.”