Miami, April 13, 2022 – Miami Dade College (MDC) Kendall Campus chemistry major Diane Documet has been awarded a Barry Goldwater Scholarship, the most prestigious endowment for undergraduates pursuing research careers in natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering in the country.
Documet, an MDC Honors College student with a 4.0 GPA, was chosen from a pool of 1242 nominated applicants from 433 institutions across the country.
“It feels unreal. A true blessing to have been selected’” she said. “Being selected as a Barry Goldwater Scholar has given me confidence in my skills as a researcher and future scientist as I competed against students from MIT, Harvard, and Stanford to name a few.”
The 19-year-old with Peruvian roots, who one day aspires to make medication more inclusive through pharmacogenomics, developed a deep appreciation for diversity and inclusion in high school, while volunteering for the non-profit Shake-A-Leg Miami (SALM) where she helped children with disabilities gain access to water sports.
Documet will graduate from MDC this summer and plans to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Columbia University, University of Michigan or Johns Hopkins University to pursue a career as a doctor in Pharmacogenomics and conduct research on drug metabolization of breast cancer treatment.
“Currently, most genetic research is done on the genes of Northern Europeans making medication and healthcare less effective for other populations, especially Hispanics,” Documet said. “For example, despite the fact there is medication for breast cancer, African American women are more likely to die of breast cancer than Caucasian women. This is due to differences in the gene that metabolizes drugs.”
In addition to her academic work, Documet serves as President of the Omicron Tau chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and Chief of Staff for Model United Nations. She also works as a chemistry Peer Led Team Leader for the Student and Teacher Integrated Center for Health Sciences (STICHES) tutoring several students per semester. Additionally, she has conducted research with the MDC School of Science and St. Thomas University on antioxidant activity and properties of medicinal plants such as Mexican Pepperleaf and American Beauty Berry.
Earlier this year she was selected Outstanding Chemistry Student of the Year at Kendall Campus and was a Newman Civic Fellowship finalist.
The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 as a living memorial to honor Senator Barry Goldwater’s lifetime work. He served the United States for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years in the Senate. By providing scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering, the Goldwater Foundation helps ensure that the U.S. is producing the number of highly qualified professionals the Nation needs in these critical fields. Over its 30-year history, Goldwater Scholarships have been awarded to thousands of undergraduates, many of whom have gone on to win other prestigious awards. To learn more, visit https://goldwater.scholarsapply.org/.