Allegheny College Junior Delaney Lacey Selected for Goldwater Scholarship

Allegheny College student Delaney Lacey
Delaney Lacey is a biology major and psychology minor at Allegheny.

Delaney Lacey, a junior at Allegheny College, has been selected for a 2020 Goldwater Scholarship. The scholarship program honoring the late Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in the fields of the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics.

Lacey, a biology major and psychology minor from Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, is one of 396 college students from across the United States selected this year for a Goldwater Scholarship. They were selected from a pool of 1,343 natural science, engineering and mathematics students nominated by 461 academic institutions.

Lacey plans to pursue a Ph.D. in microbiology and conduct research into the molecular basis for antimicrobial drug resistance to aid in the early development of antimicrobial compounds.

At Allegheny, Lacey has conducted research with Tricia Humphreys, a biology and biochemistry professor. The projects have focused on Haemophilus ducreyi, the causative agent of chancroid, a sexually transmitted genital ulcer disease, as well as a non-sexually transmitted chronic limb ulceration syndrome.

“Researching under Dr. Humphreys the summer of my freshman year made me certain that I wanted scientific research to be in my future,” Lacey said. “Even though I had no prior research experience, Dr. Humphreys welcomed me into her lab.”

Lacey said Humphreys and biology and biochemistry professor Bradley Hersh have helped her gain experience not only in the lab, but also with writing research proposals and communicating her work. In addition, working as a course consultant with chemistry professor Shaun Murphree helped Lacey discover that she enjoys teaching people about science.

“I greatly value the support of all the faculty in Steffee/Doane (Halls),” Lacey said. “The community afforded by a small department makes research all the more fun. Whenever I have a question, I know there will always be someone eager to help me find an answer.”

In preparing her Goldwater Scholarship application, Lacey worked with Patrick Jackson, director of fellowship advising in the Allegheny Gateway. He said the scholarship is the nation’s premier undergraduate science award.

“The Goldwater folks talk about wanting to make an early investment in the next Albert Einstein or Marie Curie, and I don’t think they’re joking at all,” Jackson said. “If they have their way, every scientific discovery of the 21st century will in some way owe a debt to the foundation.

“It’s a remarkably ambitious project that they’ve undertaken. And, so, it’s a remarkable achievement to win. Delaney’s being honored is a testament to the high-quality training she’s gotten here at Allegheny. Delaney put together a stellar application, and her mentors all deserve a standing ovation for their part in making that possible.”

Lacey also has been selected for a National Science Foundation-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Summer Program in Molecular and Synthetic Microbiology at the University of Georgia. In addition, she is a member of the Beta Beta Beta biology honor society, and she has served on the executive board of the Up ’til Dawn student organization at Allegheny, raising funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Allegheny students interested in applying for the Goldwater Scholarship or other national fellowships and awards can contact Patrick Jackson at