Sansevere ’20 Earns Prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

By Caitlin Burns | June 13, 2019

Sansevere in front of Grey Towers Castle

Psychology major Kayla Sansevere ’20 is the first Arcadia University student to be named a Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation scholarship recipient.

This prestigious award is given to less than 10 percent of applicants each year, who are sophomore and junior students pursuing careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. Sansevere is one of only 496 students, and one of only nine Psychology students, from across the country to receive the scholarship, out of a pool of more than 5,000 applicants.

“I was so surprised,” said Sansevere. “When I was looking at the list of previous recipients, they’re usually not psychology majors. I was really just hoping to be named an Honorable Mention, but it was so affirming to see that the foundation thinks I have what it takes to succeed in my career and research.”

This summer, Sansevere was selected as an intern for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s 10-week Research Experience for Undergraduates program to research why teens experience distracted driving, which the Centers for Disease Control ranks as the leading cause of death for adolescents. After graduation, Sansevere plans to earn a doctorate in Psychology with a specialization in neuroscience, health psychology, or social psychology.

On campus, Sansevere works with Dr. Katherine Moore, assistant professor of Psychology, at the Attention, Memory and Cognition Lab, exploring the effects of perceived lighting changes on visual search, in collaboration with alumna Katie Jobson ’18. Next year, Sansevere plans to conduct her senior thesis under Dr. Moore’s supervision.

The $7,500 Goldwater Scholarship will be used for tuition, books, and fees during a recipient’s senior year.

“I’m proud to represent the Arcadia community,” said Sansevere. “I think sometimes students feel like they can’t compete for these prestigious awards because we’re a small school, but I’m proof that you can. I hope I inspire other students to apply for these types of awards.”

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on Nov. 14, 1986. The Scholarship program, which was created to foster and encourage outstanding students, honors American politician, businessman and author Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater.