Photo of scholarship recipients
Recipients of scholarships and research stipends from the NASA National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program are East Central University students Noelle Hurt (front row, from left), Rosa Denton, Tina Martin, Alison Siweckyj, Hilary Sanchez, Bethany Beachel and (back row) Morgan Dickerson, Bobby Trail, Lindsy Polk, Amber Cannon, Felicia Goure, Justin Gates, Courtney Beachel, Jeff LaCroix, Brent Biddy, Glenn Ronning and Stewart Welch.

Seventeen East Central University students have been awarded funding under the NASA National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program for the 2011-12 academic year.

The awards are competitive and applications are reviewed by a committee on campus. Awards are in the form of scholarship and research stipends and range from $800 to $2,000 for the academic year.

Students receiving research stipends are Morgan Dickerson of Mustang, a junior majoring in chemistry; Justin Gates of Sulphur, a senior majoring in biology; Jeff LaCroix of Muskogee, a junior majoring in molecular biology; and Bobby Trail of Ada, a senior majoring in political science.           

Freshman scholarship recipients and their majors are Courtney Beachel of Henryetta, psychology; and Stewart Welch of Coalgate, physics. Sophomore scholarship recipients are Brent Biddy of Seminole, molecular biology; and Alison Siweckyj of Checotah, biology. One junior received a scholarship, Noelle Hurt of Stratford, an English major.           

Senior scholarship recipients and their majors are Bethany Beachel of Henryetta, biology; Amber Cannon of Collinsville, cartography & geography; Rosa Denton of Porum, early childhood education; Felicia Goure of Holdenville, biology; Tina Martin of Seminole, elementary education; Lindsy Polk of Hugo, biology; Glenn Ronning of Ada, elementary education; and Hilary Sanchez of Wetumka, molecular biology.           

Under the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, funding may go toward undergraduate research and scholarship, campus and community projects, conference travel, graduate application and exam fees, visits to NASA Centers of Excellence, NASA professional development and internships, and other financial assistance involving workforce development.            

The awards are not limited to specific academic disciplines but students must meet required criteria.  Dr. Mark Micozzi, associate professor of cartography and geography and the institutional representative for ECU, said one of the requirements is an essay in which the reviewers look for evidence of creativity, initiative, motivation, and other characteristics indicating the applicant’s potential as a scholar and contributor to society.             

In addition, the students discuss specific interests and how these interests and their discipline relate to NASA’s overall mission. Students learn that all disciplines find space in NASA’s world, Micozzi said.           

The National Space Grant Program, mandated by Congress in 1987, consists of 52 State consortia in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.  Oklahoma is one of the 28 consortia at the “designated level.” All carry out programs in education, research and public service.            

The Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium includes four charter institutional affiliates (The University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Cameron University, Langston University) and four regional institutional affiliates (ECU, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Southern Nazarene University and Southwestern Oklahoma State University).            

The consortium also includes two academic affiliates (Application Engineering Program, Center for Spatial Analysis), two industrial affiliates (Frontier Electronic Systems Corporation, Science Applications International Corporation), one city government affiliate (Norman Economic Development Coalition) and five informal science education affiliates (Kirkpatrick Air and Space Museum at Omniplex, STARBASE Oklahoma, Inc., K20 Center, Space Explorers Inc. and Tom Stafford Air and Space Museum).            

For more information, contact Micozzi at 580-559-5398. For more information about the Fellowship Program visit

For Immediate Release: 

Contact: Amy Ford
Jill Frye
East Central University Communications and Marketing
580-559-5650 or 405-812-1428 (cell)
Or Dr. Mark Micozzi, Cartography & Geography Dept., 580-559-5398