Junior Alexa Jakob EE'22 Named a Goldwater Scholar

POSTED ON: March 26, 2021

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation has awarded Alexa Jakob, a junior studying electrical engineering, its prestigious Goldwater Scholarship that was designed to encourage and foster careers in scientific research. Jakob is one of 410 students to receive the honor for the 2021-2022 academic year - only 68 are engineering majors – from an estimated pool of over 5,000 college sophomores and juniors.

Student applicants must show a demonstrated interest in engineering, mathematics, or the natural sciences research. Chris Chamberlin, dean of students, noted that it has been more than five years since a Cooper Union student has received this honor.

Jakob is currently researching the development of low-cost, moveable, and accurate camera systems for evaluating exoskeleton under the guidance of Mili Shah, Associate Professor of Mathematics, as part of Cooper's Vertically-Integrated Projects (VIP) class.

"A lot of engineering research is developing cutting-edge technologies and deciding how we as a society respond to problems," says Jakob of why research interests her. "Climate change is an issue important to me and I hope to address it through a career of research, including advising policy solutions and figuring out how engineering can best meet our climate needs."

Goldwater Scholarships have been awarded to thousands of undergraduates, many of whom have gone on to receive Rhodes Scholarships, Marshall Scholarships, and numerous other distinguished awards like the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. 

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.