The Catherine Johnson Randall Premier Award: Brian Goodell

The Catherine Johnson Randall Premier Award: Brian Goodell

Brian Goodell, a senior from Plattsburgh, New York, has been awarded the Catherine Johnson Randall Premier Award for his outstanding academic performance at UA. CW | Danielle Parker

Paige Henderson

The Catherine Johnson Randall Premier Award is given yearly to the most outstanding graduating senior based on GPA and rigor of study, as well as scholastic endeavor.

Goodell is in the computer-based honors program at the University, and he said the opportunity to do undergraduate research is one of the reasons he came to Alabama. He said he has a desire to pursue alternative energy options, which led him to his major.

Goodell received the Goldwater Scholarship last year, an honor awarded to up to 300 math, science and engineering majors in the United States each year. Goodell said receiving the scholarship was the best moment of his academic career.

“It was nice, not only for my own sake to receive the Goldwater Scholarship, but to bring national attention to the University and demonstrate the quality of academics here at Alabama,” he said.

Goodell is currently deciding between some of the country’s top graduate programs.

“I would like to go to graduate school to study optics,” he said. “I would like to become a professor someday, so that I can pursue a career of teaching and doing research. That seems very fulfilling to me.”

Dave Nikles, professor of chemistry and material science at the University, has been Goodell’s research advisor since his sophomore year.

“It’s actually amazing that he is a double major in physics and chemical engineering, and he is also doing research for me,” he said. “He is someone who will leave the University and go on to have an outstanding career.”