West Point cadet awarded Barry Goldwater scholarship

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Aidan Wright

FARMINGTON – Aidan Wright, a Farmington resident and cadet at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, has been named a Goldwater Scholar from a competitive pool of 1,242 other candidates.

The prestigious Barry Goldwater scholarship is awarded to college sophomores and juniors with majors in engineering, natural sciences and mathematics in partnership with the Department of Defense to support developing scientific talent. Wright is a chemistry major, and with her research group has published five papers and has presented her research at conferences such as the 2021 and 2022 Biophysical Society Annual Meeting and the 2022 International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.

“Being a recipient of the Goldwater scholarship is an amazing opportunity to be a part of a scientific community of undergraduates who aspire to contribute meaningfully to society through research,” Wright said. “This scholarship and the honor of belonging to the Goldwater community fuels me to further my knowledge in the field and become a leader that can make meaningful contributions to military medicine and neurodegenerative disease research and care.”

Wright is an aspiring physician with a dedication to service and a commitment to effective leadership. Having grown up in a military family, she decided that was the population she wanted to serve in her medical career and attending West Point became an obvious choice.

Her inspiration for becoming a physician began as a love of ballet and stemmed from a biology course and fascination with the mechanics of the human body. Wright got into research because she needed to for school and chose neurodegenerative disease because of its relevance and her own personal connection to the topic.

“My grandmother had MS, and I just remember growing up with her and it really took a toll on her and my family, especially toward the end,” Wright said. “She was amazing, and she actually served in healthcare herself, so she’s been my inspiration with a lot of things in pre-med and with becoming a doctor.”

Wright has spent a lot of time shadowing physicians. She hopes to be able to integrate her own research into her practice and see the clinical application firsthand. She’s recently completed her Medical College Admission Test and that her biggest inspiration—her dad—was really encouraging.

Wright’s advice for aspiring medical or research professionals or those looking to go into the military is simple and sweet: people first.

“In your pursuit of any further accolades, whether it’s getting into West Point…trying to get into medical school, trying to win the Goldwater scholarship, or trying to get into research, no matter what…people come first. That’s what I’ve learned here for sure. Just never sacrifice caring about people,” Wright said.

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