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Mark Barahman

College: Macaulay Honors College | College of Staten Island
Awards: Goldwater Scholarship, 2011

Biomedical Magic

Mark Barahman, of the Macaulay Honors College at the College of Staten Island, is one of four CUNY juniors in 2011 to win highly competitive Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, the premier federally funded undergraduate scholarship to encourage graduate study in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, established by Congress, awarded 275 scholarships for the 2011-2012 academic year to U.S. sophomores and juniors. They were selected from a field of 1,095 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by their colleges and universities.

Virtually all intend to earn a PhD. The one- and two-year scholarships cover tuition, fees, books and room and board up to $7,500 a year. Many Goldwater Scholars have gone on to win prestigious post-graduate fellowships, including 77 Rhodes Scholarships (including four in 2011), 108 Marshall Awards and 98 Churchill Scholarships.

Barahman, a biochemistry major and a Horace W. Goldsmith scholar, grew up in Israel, where as a teen he worked for an emergency medical organization. At the College of Staten Island, he worked first with Professor Abdeslem el Idrissi on neuroscience and now with chemistry Professor Alan Lyons on superhydrophobic (extremely water-repelling) surfaces. He constructed and programmed a 3-D printer now used by other researchers to fabricate surfaces with special properties. His professional aspirations include earning an MD/PhD in biomedical engineering.

He has presented his research in a variety of prestigious forums, including the 2010 SPIE Optics and Photonics Conference in San Diego. In March 2011, he and Lyons presented at the Young Chemists Committee ACS Symposium, titled "Printed Superhydrophobic Surfaces Exhibiting Slip-Angle Anisotropy." He was the only undergraduate at the symposium invited to present his research orally.

"Mark is a serious scientist who works very hard and thinks deeply about problems," Lyons says. "I expect that when he enters graduate school, he will rank amongst the top echelon of all graduate students."