Tyler Salrin named Goldwater Scholar

Tyler Salrin in Lab - GoldwaterTyler Salrin ’25 came across Coe serendipitously during his senior year of high school, but since that moment, he has been intentional in his pursuits, including his latest accolade — a Goldwater Scholarship.

The Goldwater is a highly regarded scholarship for students who intend to pursue research careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

The drive to excel in these areas led Salrin to Coe. A physics and chemistry major, Salrin discovered Coe during his senior year of high school while looking for a piece of equipment he needed to complete a research project. He was pointed towards Professor of Physics Mario Affatigato ’89.

“Dr. Affatigato was incredibly helpful and met with me after school hours multiple times; teaching me the intricacies of the instrument and showing me other instruments in the lab that proved useful for completion of my project,” said Salrin.

That experience helped Salrin determine that Coe was the best option to advance his education. “The research opportunities offered by the physics department are the reason I chose to attend Coe,” he said.

The research Salrin completed during his time at Coe also helped him stand out in his Goldwater application. Salrin plans to pursue his Ph.D. in materials science after graduating from Coe.

“Being a Goldwater Scholar will help me stand out on my applications as someone dedicated to science research and discovery,” said Salrin.

Coe students who are applying to rigorous national fellowship programs receive guidance from Associate Professor of English Amber Shaw, who also serves as the college’s national fellowship advisor. Shaw was the one who reached out to Salrin about pursuing the Goldwater. Salrin and Shaw met weekly to work through the application process. 

“Tyler has excelled in his coursework at Coe, which is a key selection criteria for Goldwater,” shared Shaw. “He has also worked on multiple research projects — both at Coe and at other institutions — and has helped write multiple published articles, all of which demonstrate his commitment to the sciences and his likelihood in a successful career as a research scientist.”

Shaw was recently selected by the Goldwater Foundation to participate in its inaugural mentoring program designed to cultivate an active pipeline of STEM students for the Goldwater Scholarship. Shaw is able to take what she learns in mentoring sessions and apply it to help Coe Goldwater applicants, like Salrin.

“The Goldwater mentorship program helped me learn about the variety of criteria the Goldwater selection committee takes into consideration when reading applications,” said Shaw. “It has also helped me better understand the broad range of potential successful applicants and how I can help applicants frame their strengths throughout their application materials.”

Tyler is grateful for the support he’s received from Shaw, and from Coe’s physics department.

“Dr. Shaw played an instrumental role in my path to the Goldwater, guiding me in transforming my research into my story. A lot of the success I've achieved is thanks to the support of the physics department at Coe College,” added Salrin. “The professors there are incredibly dedicated, not only teaching classes but also providing research opportunities to students who express interest.” 

Salrin has also made many connections with Coe alumni. Through these networking connections, he’s gained research experience at Alfred University in New York and this summer he has an upcoming internship with SpaceX. 

The Goldwater will continue to attract well-qualified candidates among Coe’s incredibly talented STEM students. Coe students’ high qualifications are evident — since 1985, 100% of chemistry and physics majors accepted to grad school have earned full scholarships or stipends from their graduate institution to attend. Coe is also one of just a few small colleges hosting a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program, which creates a wealth of qualified, research-oriented undergraduates to apply for the Goldwater Scholarship. 

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