MassBay Student Named a Prestigious 2017 Goldwater Scholar

Bernard Brown

FRAMINGHAM – Massachusetts Bay Community College announced student Bernard Brown has been named a 2017 Goldwater Scholar by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship Foundation, the awarding body for the highest national undergraduate prize for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Brown is one of two community college students nationwide to be named a scholar this year by the prestigious foundation, which also awarded students from research powerhouses, such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins University.  

“Bernard Brown exemplifies the power of scientific inquiry and the importance of research-based education,” said MassBay President Dr. David Podell, in a statement. “This is not only an enormous personal distinction for Bernard, but also for us as a community, particularly as we mourn the loss of Dr. Bruce Jackson, who was a stalwart mentor to Bernard and our students. Bernard follows a long line of distinguished Goldwater Scholars from MassBay, and Dr. Jackson’s legacy will surely live on through Bernard and his continuing scholarship.”

“When an outstanding student is mentored by an outstanding professor with the support of an outstanding school, the result is another golden link in MassBay’s long and successful chain of Goldwater Scholars,” said Goldwater Foundation President John Mateja, in a press release. “The late Dr. Bruce Jackson recognized in Bernard Brown all the attributes that distinguish a Goldwater Scholar: scientific curiosity, strong critical thinking skills, and a gift and passion for research.  As I addressed those gathered at Dr. Jackson’s memorial service in March, I was moved by the presence of so many of Dr. Jackson’s mentees and Goldwater Scholars. Bernard may represent the last class of Goldwater Scholars to have worked directly with Bruce, but through him and his fellow scholars, and with the commitment to achievement fostered by MassBay and the community, he will not be the last.”

Brown has served as a peer mentor, tutor and teaching assistant for students in the Biotechnology program, encouraging his peers to pursue advanced degrees and careers in the sciences. He was part of the 2014-2015 STEM Mentor Program working with a principal scientist at Genzyme.

In 2015, he received an honorable mention at the MassBay Leadership Awards ceremony in recognition of being an Ambassador for MassBay.

Brown has been conducting research exploring the venom of the Caribbean Red Lionfish to study how to separate, purify and analyze the toxins in the venom. He previously worked in a collaborative research project with MassBay and Olaf Pharmaceuticals in Worcester, exploring the 3D tissue models of the blood-brain barrier (BBB).

After graduation this May, Brown plans to pursue a doctorate in Molecular Biology to pursue his passion on the filtering mechanisms that govern the blood-brain barrier (BBB).

His mentors include Dr. Bruce Jackson, who passed way in November 2016, who helped produce a record 22 Goldwater Scholars from MassBay.

Brown is a resident of Westborough.

“Being selected as a Goldwater Scholar is an incredible honor and it will support my chosen career path as a research scientist,” said Brown. “This validates my love of fundamental science and rewards my academic research I have accomplished as an undergraduate. I am excited that my career will be contributing to the understanding and protection of biological systems.”

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served the United States for 56 years as a soldier, statesman, and U.S. Senator.

The Goldwater Scholarships go to college students who intend to pursue research careers in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics, and is considered the premier scholarship award of its type in these fields.

Since 1996, MassBay has produced a total of 22 Goldwater Scholars, more than all of the other community colleges in the United States combined and more than many four-year institutions.


Photo courtesy



Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: Phone: 508-315-7176

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