March 14, 2019

 

Cody Walters busy in a science lab at MSUB

MSUB student selected as Goldwater Scholarship Nominee

Junior Cody Walters looks to make his mark in neuroscience

 

Contacts:

University Relations and Communications, 657-2266

MSU BILLINGS NEWS— Cody Walters is not known as one to back down from a challenge.

A junior at Montana State University Billings who is double majoring in Psychology and Biology with a minor in Chemistry, he has learned to identify his opportunities and take advantage of them. His hard work, determination, and passion for research have recently named him the fourth Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Nominee from MSU Billings.

The Goldwater Scholarship Foundation works to aid students who are pursuing careers in the fields of mathematics, engineering, and the natural sciences who are planning careers in research. Established in 1986, the scholarship rewards scholars based on future plans and potential for significant contribution in their chosen field.

Up to 300 recipients are chosen to receive this highly competitive award. Scholars and honorable mentions will be reviewed, selected, and announced by March 29. Open to college sophomores and juniors, the scholarship provides up to $7,500 a year to help cover tuition, books, room/board, and other fees.

For Walters, his interest in researching neuroscience and medicine was sparked by tragedy. Growing up in a poor, hostile household, Walters soon found himself dropped out of college and spiraling downward. When his father suffered a severe stroke and faced a lengthy recovery, Walters was able to view his CT scans and was amazed by the process. After helping his father recover and witnessing first-hand the permanent damage it had made, Walters knew that there must be an improved treatment method for brain damage patients.

“The quality of life for these individuals seems permanently reduced until research scientists can develop effective solutions to these problems,” said Walters.

Walters plans to obtain a M.D./Ph.D. in neuroscience after graduating from MSUB. These degrees will allow him to continue his research on neurological diseases and work to discover therapeutic solutions to improve patient treatment. While research and experimentation are his focus, Walters believes that pursuing a medical degree will increase his knowledge of the human body and allow him to work directly with patients in a clinical setting.

“I aspire to develop treatments for neurological diseases attributed to both development and brain damage,” said Walters. Researching phenotypes from patients suffering from genetic diseases as well as working to improve neuroplasticity to decrease recovery time in brain damage patients are two of his primary goals.

While studying at MSUB, Walters has become a popular face around campus and the science department. Serving as a supplemental instructor, working 30 hours a week, and joining Dr. Lynn George’s neuroscience research group are just three of the many activities that Walters has taken on, all while attending classes.

“I have complete confidence that Cody Walters would make a distinguished scholarship recipient and go on to a career of high accomplishment,” stated his nominator, University Honors Program Director David Craig.

Lynn George, David Butler, and Matt Queen, all science professors at MSUB, have been instrumental in Walters’ higher education and research experiences. Having knowledgeable research mentors at MSUB has allowed Walters to become a national-quality science major with a bright future ahead.

The University Honors Program coordinates the Goldwater application process at MSUB. Goldwater scholars have demonstrated remarkable dedication that has presented them with this prestigious opportunity.

“Cody’s application is the result of accretion, in which each college step – his psychology major, the addition of a biology major and a chemistry minor, and, most crucially, being invited to join Dr. George’s neuroscience research group – nurtured his desire for greater understanding,” explains Craig.

Walters is the fourth MSUB student nominated for the award. Aubree Honcoop, Elizabeth Mullins, and Corey Lovec were each nominated and received great recognition in prior years. 

“I have no doubt that my experiences at MSUB have prepared me for my next goal of attaining a M.D./Ph.D. in Neuroscience,” said Walters. “And that completion of my graduate degree will allow me to achieve my professional aspirations to treat neurological diseases.”

For more information, contact Honors Program Director David Craig at (406) 657-2908 or david.craig2@msubillings.edu.