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Nine ODU Students Receive Virginia Space Grant Consortium Scholarships

Nine ODU students have been selected to receive scholarship awards from the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, a partnership between five Virginia universities and several state and federal agencies aimed at promoting education and research in aerospace science.

The students, Erin Blass, Amy Daugherty, Dereth Drake, Felicia Farrow, Richard Hare, Nikita Logan, Candace Rockwell, Courtney Strickland and Brianne Williams, were among 77 Virginia college students chosen to receive a portion of the $330,100 package. Students received varying amounts based on their educational status, with awards ranging from an $8,500 non-renewable scholarship for undergraduate research to a $1,000 renewable payment for freshman students majoring in math and science.

Logan and Strickland received freshman/sophomore bridge scholarships, while Daugherty was awarded a teacher education scholarship. Farrow and Hare were given undergraduate research grants, while Blass, Drake, Rockwell and Williams received graduate research grants.

Drake, a Ph.D. candidate currently researching Martian atmospheric entry plasma for her graduate dissertation at ODU, is currently on her third VSGC scholarship renewal. She said that she didn't think she would have been able to get as far as she has without the funding she has received from the program.

"A lot of graduate students are struggling right now," she said. "There's just not enough money to go around. I was very happy to get this grant."

The VSGC, a coalition that includes ODU, the College of William and Mary, Hampton University, Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, the NASA Langley Research Center, the Virginia Department of Education, and a number of other state entities, acts as an umbrella organization under which these institutions can pool their efforts toward advancing aerospace education in Virginia.

Created by Congress in 1988, the coalition's primary goal is to aid in the training of future scientists and engineers, and to encourage them to pursue aerospace-related fields of study. Under their scholarship and fellowship programs, they annually award approximately $300,000 to students pursuing higher education at the participating universities. Since1990, the program has we provided 125 ODU students with scholarships and fellowships worth approximately $650,000.

The VSGC offers five distinct award programs; graduate research fellowships, undergraduate research fellowships, teacher education scholarships, community college scholarships, and freshman/sophomore bridge scholarships. Specific information on student eligibility and the application process can be found on the VSGC's website, http://www.vsgc.odu.edu/sf/opps.shtml.

This article was posted on: July 25, 2008

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