In high school, Simon Gordonov enjoyed mathematics, biology, and running. So he looked for colleges that might help him expand on those interests. The East Windsor resident found his answer close to home: Rutgers–New Brunswick, with its strong biomedical engineering program and competitive track team, turned out to be a great fit for Simon.
Once here, the commuter student at Rutgers’ School of Engineering got involved in research under Professor Prabhas Moghe in the field of stem cell engineering, taking advantage of the support offered by the Aresty Research Center for Undergraduates. “I absolutely love it! I wouldn’t want to do anything else,” Simon says. He complemented his academic work with training and track competition, developing tenacity, patience, and focus.
In the spring of 2008, he read an article in the Daily Targum about two winners of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and thought, “Maybe I could be one, too.” With the help of Arthur Casciato and the Office of Distinguished Fellowships, Simon applied for the award a year ago.
This spring, he was “ecstatic and surprised” to find out he had been awarded one of the prestigious scholarships. He was Rutgers’ latest recipient, and the university’s first student-athlete, to gain the prize.
Grateful and Amazed
Grateful for the opportunities Rutgers has afforded him, Simon, a senior with a 4.0 GPA, has applied for other fellowships to continue his research after graduation in the U.K. or elsewhere as he works toward his goal of becoming a clinical researcher.
He’s still amazed at the range of offerings the university has for its students. His advice to new students: “There’s so much here. Put yourself out there as much as you can. Don’t limit yourself. Try different things and you might find what you really love.”
Dedication and Focus
Simon talks with RU-tv’s T.J. Fiorillo about his studies, his scholarship, and his running.