Goldwater Scholar Danielle Goldwert

Danielle Goldwert ’21 is a Goldwater Scholar for the 2019-2020 academic year.
goldwater scholar
Danielle Goldwert is one of two University of Miami students honored with a Goldwater Scholarship. 

Danielle Goldwert ’21 truly believed she didn’t have a chance at winning the Goldwater Scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year, but the New Jersey native is one of two University of Miami students honored with this prestigious recognition. The research-focused award centered on the sciences gives recipients $7,500 per year to complete their undergraduate education. Danielle is a sophomore with a double major in Psychology and Studio Art and minors Philosophy, Ecosystem Science and Policy, English Literature, and Management. A&S News met up with Danielle to talk about what type of research she’s working on at UM and what it means to be a Goldwater Scholar.

A&S News: How excited are you to be a Goldwater Scholar?

Danielle: It is so exciting! I consider winning this award to be one of my biggest accomplishments, and to be honest, an honorable mention would have been so amazing, too. I did not expect to win at all—I had to read the email a few times to even believe what I was seeing!

A&S News: What do you love most about the University of Miami?  

Danielle: It’s a funny story because UM was always my younger sister’s dream school, whereas I initially had no interest in attending and planned to stay in the northeast. But I applied anyway, received a scholarship, and got into the Foote Fellows Honors Program. The Foote Fellows program sealed the deal for me because it gave me the opportunity to study every subject that I am passionate about, which is a freedom that could not be found at other schools.

A&S News: What type of research are you conducting at UM?

Danielle: I thought I hated science; I’m an artist, and I’ve always loved the humanities. But I fell in love with psychology, so that’s what I’m pursuing. I’m involved in two labs here at UM. As a research assistant for Dr. Kiara Timpano’s Program for Anxiety, Stress and OCD, I execute various research projects in the lab, clean and analyze data, and attend lab meetings. Dr. Timpano has been a great mentor to me, helping me to clarify my research goals and craft projects that fit my interests. I am also the lab manager for Dr. Debra Liberman’s Evolution & Human Behavior lab, in which I am conducting the study that I submitted as my proposal for the Goldwater Scholarship.  

A&S News: When it comes to science, what fascinates you the most?

Danielle: I definitely enjoy the problem-solving aspect of conducting research. I also love the possibility of making a real difference through a research finding, especially in my current work on the topic of climate change decision-making and risk perception—a subject I’m excited to explore further this summer at the University of Cambridge.   

A&S News: If you could meet one famous person, alive or dead, who would it be?

Danielle: Fyodor Dostoyevsky, author of my favorite book, The Brothers Karamazov. I love his novels and would cherish the opportunity to further discuss his philosophical ideas about politics, religion, and morality.

A&S News: What’s your favorite movie?

Danielle: “2001: A Space Odyssey” is my favorite movie. It’s a masterpiece—the special effects, the cinematography, the soundtrack, and of course, the story. I would argue that it is the greatest film of all time.

A&S News: What advice would you give to young women in STEM?

Danielle: Work hard and take initiative, especially in the lab environment. Always be the one to volunteer to stay late or take on a project that no one else wants to tackle. People notice that drive, and they will appreciate it.