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Fourteen East Central University students have been awarded funding under the NASA National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program for the 2007-2008 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 $350 to $2,000 for the academic year.

The ECU students all received scholarships. They are Thomas Bowdler of Wewoka, a sophomore majoring in elementary education; James Brown of Cushing, a junior chemistry major; Mark Gaches of Schulter, a junior biology major; Felicia Goure of Holdenville, a freshman elementary education major; Jessica Johnston of Davis, a sophomore psychology major; Stacy Kipps of Stratford, a senior elementary education major; and Rhonda Maness of McAlester, a senior accounting major.

Others are Adam Milligan of Ponca City, a senior cartography and geography major; Richard Neal of Ada, a senior political science major; Rachael Pattison of Wewoka, a senior biology major; Amy Simpson of Seminole, a senior special education major; Daniel Stettler of Ada, a freshman business administration major; Mark Walters of Sulphur, a senior accounting major; and Samantha Wright of Oklahoma City, a junior elementary education major.

Under the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, ECU undergraduates may benefit from funding for research and scholarship, campus and community projects, conference travel, visits to NASA Centers, and financial assistance.

The awards are not discipline specific. Students must meet required criteria and submit several forms for consideration, said Dr. Mark Micozzi, associate professor of cartography and geography and NASA's institutional representative for ECU.

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 28 consortia at the "designated level." All carry out programs in education, research and public service. 

The Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium includes one lead institution (University of Oklahoma), three charter affiliates (Cameron University, Langston University, and Oklahoma State University), and four institutional affiliates (East Central University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Southern Nazarene University and Southwestern Oklahoma State University).

There also are three academic affiliates (Applications Engineering Program, Center for Spatial Analysis, K20 Center), three industrial affiliates (The Boeing Company, Frontier Electronic Systems Corp., CDF Associates Inc.), one city government affiliate (Norman Economic Development Coalition), one state government affiliate (Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority), and two informal science education affiliates (Omniplex Science Museum and STARBASE Oklahoma, Inc.)

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

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