Two Tech Students Among Astronaut Scholars

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation recently announced the award of its scholarships for the 2005-2006 academic year to 16 dynamic undergraduates and graduate college students who exhibit motivation, imagination, and exceptional performance in the fields of science and engineering. Tech students Jarret Lafleur and Isaac Penny are among the chosen.

"The Foundation is a way for me and my fellow astronauts to give back to a country who afforded us an extraordinary opportunity," said Apollo 15 Command Module Pilot and Foundation Chairman Col. Al Worden. "It is vital that America remains a technological leader in the world, and that responsibility rests upon these future generations."

Each scholar will receive $10,000, for a total of $170,000 (one recipient is yet to be named). That will increase the total amount of scholarship money awarded to more than $2 million to a total of 196 students.

Candidates are nominated by faculty members at 18 different colleges and universities and reviewed by a scholarship board. Two nominees from each school are submitted to the foundation's scholarship committee for review. Selections by the committee are presented to the foundation's board of directors for final approval.

Established by the original Mercury astronauts in 1984, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping the United States retain its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships to students pursuing these fields. More than 50 astronauts from the Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle programs have since joined the cause, raising money through personal appearances, special events, corporate/individual donations and membership fees. Its headquarters is located in the Astronaut Hall of Fame at Kennedy Space Center, FL.

The 2005-2006 recipients (Georgia Tech and Penn State were awarded scholarships for both nominees):

Georgia Tech - Jarret Marshall Lafleur from Mapleville, RI is a senior in Aerospace Engineering with a 4.0 GPA. He presented a wing morphing design for use on Mars to NASA that apparently represents the first instance of a published full design of such a vehicle for a planet other than earth. He plans to earn a Ph.D. and work in a multidisciplinary group dedicated to space design problems.

Isaac David Penny from Lawrence, KS is a senior in Mechanical Engineering with a 3.87 GPA. He is a fourth generation engineer and plans to develop an air transportation system for third world countries beginning by using his knowledge and skills as a pilot and leader in "ambitious technical Projects."

Harvey Mudd College - Robert Martin Panish

Miami University - Ethan Silva Karp

North Carolina A&T - Christopher Jessamy

North Carolina State - Patrick Garrett Keistler

North Dakota State - Jonathan Michael Pikalek

Penn State - Andrew Scott Bielen and Adam Nolan Morgan

Syracuse University - Brien R. Flewelling

Texas A&M - Justin Howard Wilson

Tufts University - Russell E. Sargent

University of Colorado - Erin L. Reed

University of Oklahoma - TBD

University of Minnesota - Craig Michael Lewandowski

University of Washington - Angela Marie Stickle

Washington University - Aaron Frank Mertz