Jing He plans to pursue her Ph.D. in oceanography and climate change using computer models.

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Jing He, a physics major from Wayland, Massachusetts, has been named a Goldwater Scholar by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

The Middlebury junior is among 252 students awarded Goldwater Scholarships for the 2016-17 academic year. The one- and two-year scholarships go toward covering the cost of tuition, fees, books, room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,150 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the institutional representatives of 415 colleges and universities nationwide. Virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their degree objective.

He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in physical oceanography and conduct research on climate change using computer models. She also hopes to teach physics and oceanography at a small liberal arts college where she “can fully engage with the students and have them participate in my research projects, thus helping to train the next generation of scientists.”

“Jing has combined outstanding work in our most advanced physics courses with the ability to apply her skills to the study of oceans and waterways and the central role they play in our natural environment,” said Noah Graham, professor of physics. “She connects the study of fundamental science, for its own sake, with practical solutions to today’s most important problems.”

He says she was thrilled to receive the award notification, especially realizing how many qualified candidates had applied. “I think it is always nice to be connected with other like-minded students and to have that extra community out there to support each other as we pursue our future goals,” she said.

At Middlebury, He is a teaching assistant in the physics department and an avid outdoor enthusiast, teaching snowboarding at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl and leading MiddView orientation trips for first-year students in the fall. She also enjoys working with the College’s Juntos Compañeros program, which fosters personal relationships between students and migrant farmworkers.

During the summer of 2015 He interned at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Alaska funded by the Middlebury Center for Careers and Internships (CCI). She hopes to do her graduate studies at either the Scripps Institution of Oceanography or the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute as part of their joint program with MIT.

Since its first award in 1989, the foundation has bestowed more than 7,680 scholarships worth approximately $48 million. For a full list of winners and more information about the Goldwater Scholarship, visit

With reporting by Stephen Diehl; Photo by Robert Keren