Astronaut Jim Lovell to Present Scholarship Check

Apollo 13 astronaut, James Lovell, presents Georgia Tech student with $10,000 scholarship from Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

Apollo 13 Astronaut, Captain James Lovell, will present Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) senior, Nicole Larsen with a $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) during a public presentation and ceremony, Wednesday, September 26 at 3pm in the Ferst Center for the Arts, Georgia Tech campus. The award presentation will coincide with a free lecture by Captain Lovell that is open to the public.

This prestigious award is one of 19 made available each year through the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. The scholarships are awarded to college students who have exhibited exceptional performance, initiative and creativity in the science or engineering field of their major. While scholarship recipients must display intellectual daring, the committee also looks for well-rounded students who are involved in campus and community activities.
"These scholarships are a way for me and my fellow astronauts to give back to a country that provided us with an extraordinary opportunity," said Captain Lovell. "Nicole will be one of the many leaders who will keep the United States at the edge of breakthrough technology and I consider it an honor to be presenting her with this check."
The award will be applied toward Larsen's ongoing education at Georgia Tech, where she currently holds a 3.88 academic average. As a double major in Mathematics and Physics, Larsen is one of only a few women majors in the mostly male dominated world of Mathematics. Last summer, she participated in the Cornell Laboratory of Elementary Particle Physics REU, where she performed in a group working on the CMS particle detector for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC is scheduled to begin operation in November to probe energy scales that have never before been seen. When not working in the laboratory, you can find Larsen tutoring fellow Georgia Tech students in math and physics. Larsen believes, "The best part of my job, as a tutor, is when I have managed to impart some enthusiasm for the material!"

"It is a pleasure to see an exceptional student like Nicole recognized of her accomplishments," said Georgia Tech Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Gary Schuster. "Nicole is a great example of a Georgia Tech student who has set herself apart from her peers by excelling both academically in the classroom and also in the research lab."

Selected as a NASA astronaut in 1962, Captain Lovell has logged over 715 hours in space on four space missions. He piloted a then-record 14-day space trip in Gemini 7. Next he commanded Gemini 12, and then orbited the moon on man's maiden voyage on Apollo 8. Captain Lovell is most known for his commanded and then aborted Apollo 13 moon mission. He retired from NASA in 1973, and was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1993. Captain Lovell served as the ASF Chairman and President from 1997 thru 2005 and is still an active member of the organization.

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1984 by the six surviving members of America's original Mercury astronauts. Its goal is to aid the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships for college students who exhibit motivation, imagination, and exceptional performance in the science or engineering field of their major. ASF funds 19 $10,000 scholarships annually and has awarded nearly $2.5 million to 226 students nationwide.