20:00 PM

USRA Announces 2014 Scholarship Award Winners

The Universities Space Research Association (USRA) is proud to announce the 2014 winners of the annual USRA Scholarship Awards. USRA's scholarship selection committee has chosen an outstanding group of students in physical science and engineering disciplines from universities across the United States. These students have shown deep interest in space-related careers and research.

The winners of this year's USRA Scholarship Awards are:

Ms. Emily Wislowski, a junior in the Department of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, won the James B. Willett Memorial Scholarship Award, which honors Dr. Willett's contributions to astrophysics. Ms. Wislowski has a wide range of astronomy interests, and most recently has been an undergraduate research assistant at the New York Center for Astrobiology studying the chemical evolution of star and planet formation. She is also active in the Rensselaer Astrophysical Society, conducting public observing sessions at RPI's Hirsch Observatory.

Emily Wislowski

Image: Professor Douglas Whittet, USRA's Council of Institution Representative at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with USRA Scholarship Award winner Emily Wislowski, Professor Heidi Jo Newberg (professor of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy), and Professor Angel Garcia (Physics Department Chair).

Ms. Kristina Monakhova, a junior majoring in Electrical Engineering at University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, has been selected to receive the John R. Sevier Memorial Scholarship Award, which honors Dr. Sevier's contributions to aerospace science. Ms. Monakhova has made significant contributions to a number of satellite and robotic projects, including the NASA Robotics Academy, the Google Lunar X-prize and the UB Nanosatellite Program. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space - USA.

Kristina Monakhova

Image: Ms. Kristina Monakhova (center), recipient of the USRA John R. Sevier Memorial Scholarship Award, with Electrical Engineering Chair Professor Stella Batalama and Prof Cyrus Madnia, the USRA COI Representative for University of Buffalo.

Mr. Samuel van der Hoeven, a junior majoring in Electrical Engineering at LeTourneau University, won a USRA Education Scholarship Award. His capabilities and enthusiasm for electrical engineering led him to an internship testing space flight hardware at L-3 Cincinnati Electronics. His goal is to be on the cutting edge of developing hardware technologies for space exploration.

Samuel van der Hoeven

Image: Samuel van der Hoeven receiving a USRA Education Scholarship Award from Dr. Paul Leiffer, Chair of Engineering Department at LeTourneau University.

Ms. Kristina Kaldon, a senior with a double major in Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics at the Pennsylvania State University, also won a USRA Education Scholarship Award. At Penn State, she has assisted in research on low-mass companions to nearby stars, and at Arecibo Observatory she has worked on processing and analyzing data from Rotating Radio Transits and Fast Radio Burst sources. She is also active in the Penn State Astronomy Department education activities, sparking interest in space in young students.

Kristina Kaldon

Image: Kristina Kaldon receives a USRA Education Scholarship Award from Professor John Nousek, of the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics at Penn State and USRA's Council of Institution Representative.

"These outstanding students are poised to be future leaders in their fields," said Dr. James Lochner, USRA's Director of University Communications and Engagement. "USRA is pleased to recognize their accomplishments and support their academic careers."

The USRA Scholarship Award Program is an annual award program that provides college scholarships to outstanding students who have a career interest in the sciences or engineering with an emphasis on space research or space science education. Information on the USRA Scholarship Award Program is available at http://www.usra.edu/about/outreach/scholarship/ .

About USRA

Universities Space Research Association (USRA) is an independent, nonprofit research corporation where the combined efforts of in-house talent and university-based expertise merge to advance space science and technology. USRA works across disciplines including biomedicine, astrophysics, and engineering and integrates those competencies into applications ranging from fundamental research to facility management and operations. USRA engages the creativity and authoritative expertise of the research community to develop and deliver sophisticated, forward-looking solutions to Federal agencies and other customers - on schedule and within budget.