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Seven East Central University students were awarded funding under the NASA National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program for the 2014-2015 academic year due to their creativity, initiative and motivation.

Awards were presented in the form of scholarship and research stipends, ranging from $700 to $2,000 for the academic year.

The recipients include Laura Asaro, a senior mathematics major from Muskogee for research; Aileen Barton, senior communication major from Ada with a scholarship; Courtney Beachel, a senior psychology major from Henryetta with a scholarship; Caleb Biles, a sophomore environmental health science major from Ada with a scholarship; John Dale, a senior physics major from Tulsa for research; Nikoloas Razo, a senior physics major from McAlester for research and Linzi Thompson, a senior environmental health science and chemistry major from Sulphur for research.

The awards are not discipline specific and students must meet required criteria and submit several forms for consideration. A student must write an essay showing 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,” said Dr. Mark Micozzi, professor of cartography and geography, and institutional representative of the program for ECU. “Students learn that all disciplines find space in NASA’s world.”

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. There are 28 consortia at the designated level, with Oklahoma being one of them. All carry out programs in education, research and public service.

Under the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, funding for undergraduate research and scholarships, 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 are some examples in which funds may benefit undergraduates at ECU.

The Oklahoma Space Consortium includes one lead institution, the University of Oklahoma; three charter institutional affiliates – Oklahoma State University, Cameron University and Langston University; four regional affiliates including ECU, Southeastern Oklahoma State, Southern Nazarene University and Southwestern Oklahoma State University, along with 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 two informal science education affiliates – Stafford Air and Space Museum and STARBASE Oklahoma, Inc.



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