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Twelve East Central University students were awarded funding under the NASA National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program for the 2012-2013 academic year.

These awards are competitive and applications are reviewed by a committee on campus. The awards are not discipline specific and students must meet required criteria and submit several forms for consideration.

One of the forms is an essay where students communicate to the committee evidence of creativity, initiative, motivation, and other characteristics indicative of 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.

Awards are in the form of scholarship and research stipends and range from $800 to $2,000 for the academic year.

The recipients (name, hometown, major, class, funding type) of the awards are: Laura Asaro, of Muskogee, mathematics, sophomore, scholarship; Courtney Beachel, Henryetta, psychology, sophomore, scholarship; Brent Biddy, Seminole, biology, junior, research; Ashley Cardwell, Mustang, mathematics, senior, scholarship; Joshua Crittenden, Sulphur, mathematics, senior, research; Morgan Dickerson, Mustang, chemistry, senior, research; Jared Giem, Muskogee, physics, senior, scholarship; Glenn Ronning, Ada, elementary education, senior, scholarship; Alaison Siweckyj, Checotah, biology, junior, scholarship; and Joshua Smith, Ardmore, chemistry, senior, research.

The National Space Grant Program, mandated by Congress in 1987, consists of 52 State Consortia in the 50 states, District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. There are 28 consortia at the ‘designated level’, with Oklahoma as one of them. All carry out programs in education, research and public service.

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

Also under the Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium are two academic affiliates (Application Engineering Program and Center for Spatial Analysis), two industrial affiliates (Frontier Electronic Systems Corporation and 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).

Dr. Mark Micozzi, professor of cartography and geography, is the institutional representative for ECU.

Under the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, funding is provided for 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. These are examples in which the funds may benefit undergraduates at ECU.

For more information on the NASA National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program contact Dr. Micozzi at 580-559-5398 or visit target=" href=" target=" _blank"=""> to obtain information about the Fellowship Program.

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