Nicolas Treat is a Goldwater Scholar with a heart of gold.
A University of Southern Mississippi junior polymer science major from Hattiesburg, Treat is the school’s 18th recipient of the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, awarded to college sophomores and juniors. It covers the cost of tuition, books, fees, room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
Named for the late U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona, the stated purpose of the scholarship program is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to students intending to pursue careers in these fields. Treat is the only student from Mississippi awarded the scholarship this year.
“This really means a lot to me, and will help open doors for graduate school opportunities,” said Treat, a student in the university’s prestigious Honors College. He plans to pursue a doctorate in organic chemistry and conduct research in the biomedical field, as well as start a company providing low-cost medicine to citizens in third world countries.
“I want everything that I’ve learned and accomplished in America to be used to help the poor all over the world,” he said.
At Southern Miss, Treat works in the laboratory of polymer science professor Dr. Charles McCormick, conducting research regarding block copolymer conjugates as nanocarriers for therapeutic and diagnostic agents targeted to specific cancerous cells.
He has already achieved co-authorship of manuscripts published in two prestigious polymer chemistry journals, Biomacromolecules and Macromolecules, with an additional manuscript submitted for publication that includes his work from the summer and fall 2009 semesters.
“Despite being only a junior, he has established himself as a researcher with the capability of a second or third-year graduate student,” McCormick said.
Beyond the classroom, Treat has worked as a teaching missionary in Northeast China, and has travelled to India to work in Mother Theresa’s Home for the Destitute and Dying, as well as with Sari Bari, an organization helping Indian women escape prostitution. Sari Bari provides support to these women as they seek a new life and renewed dignity, including with counseling, medical assistance and job training. Many of the women who receive support from SariBari make fashionable blankets and handbags that can be purchased online in support of the organization at www.saribari.com.
Treat’s volunteer work abroad has opened his eyes to the blessings enjoyed by citizens of the U.S. and other developed countries. “It’s helped me understand how much people in other parts of the world don’t have, and how we have so much to be thankful for that we don’t even realize,” he said.
Nicolas Treat, left, a University of Southern Mississippi junior polymer science major from Hattiesburg visits with Honors College Dean Dr. David Davies. Treat is the recipient of a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, awarded to college sophomores and juniors who plan careers in science, engineering or mathematics. (University Communications photo by David Tisdale)
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.