NAU Space Grant Success Stories

Four NAU students gaze at the Milky Way

NAU/NASA Space Grant Staff and Students Participate in Navajo Bridge Star Party!

Friday, October 19, 2018

October 2018 marks the 2nd year that NAU staff and students have brought telescopes to the Navajo Bridge Star Party, to star gaze with the public

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Collin (center) and his project team mates Nate (left) and Ryan (right), tour a local food distribution center with tour guide Haley (far right). The group is posing in front of an informational poster about the distribution center.

Check out current research on unmanned aerial vehicles to assist in food transportation, by 2017 NAU AZ/NASA Space Grant Intern, Collin Krawczyk!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Collin Krawczyk is currently interning at NASA Ames Research Center, designing an unmanned aerial vehicle to assist in transporting food to food banks.

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Portrait of Alexandra Huff

Congratulations to Alexandra Huff, 2015/2016 NAU NASA Space Grant Intern and Fulbright U.S. Scholar

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Alex, a geology major, worked with Dr. Justin Hagerty of the USGS, located in Flagstaff, during her internship at NAU.  She worked on “Placing new constraints on the unexpectedly complex formation of Meteor Crater”, and subsequently was hired by USGS to work as a researcher post graduation.

She will go to Greece to conduct ground-breaking scientific research during her year abroad after receiving international grants from the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

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Etude, second from the left, standing with President Rita Cheng

Congratulations to Etude Oneel-Judy, 2015-2016 NAU NASA Space Grant Intern, winner of NAU Golden AXE Award!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Etude graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physics from NAU in May of 2018, and was one of 45 winners of the NAU Golden Axe award (dating back to 1933), which honors the most accomplished students at NAU.  In addition, he was one of five graduates selected for the President’s Prize, which is the most prestigious award NAU offers to undergraduates.

He will work at W.L. Gore for the next year, and then plans to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Waterloo, in Ontario, Canada.  While at NAU, he was awarded the Goldwater Scholarship in 2017 and was...

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Portrait of Olivia Thomas

Congratulations Olivia Thomas – 2016-2017 NAU NASA Space Grant Intern!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Olivia was selected as the Distinguished Senior for the Department of Physics & Astronomy and subsequently also received the honor of Distinguished Senior for NAU’s College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences. Her accomplishments are many, including earning a full-ride scholarship to NAU, being selected for the NASA Space Grant program, co-authoring a paper, writing a proposal for a research project in affiliation with scientists at NAU while creating a multi-disciplinary team to support this proposal,  providing leadership to the Supplemental Instruction Leaders at NAU, as well as becoming a model trainer for other SI leaders. 

Olivia plans to attend...

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Portrait of Kyle Winfree

Kyle Winfree, NAU Space Grant Intern 2002/2003

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

I participated in the NAU/NASA Space Grant program in 2002/2003 with Dr. William Delinger, and graduated in 2005. After completing my masters in Robotics at the University of Pennsylvania, I went on to complete a PhD in Biomechanics and Movement Science at the University of Delaware, under the guidance of Sunil Agrawal.  Following this, I took a postdoc in Nursing for two years before starting my faculty position at Northern Arizona University (NAU).  I am now in my third year as an Assistant Professor in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems –SICCS (CS and EE).  I teach the...

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Portrait of Christy Cunningham

Christine Cunningham, 2011-2012 NAU Space Grant Intern at Gemini Observatory

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

As a 2011 to 2012 NAU Space Grant Undergraduate Research Intern, Christine Cunningham investigated gyrochronology as a method of aging young brown dwarfs.  After completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Astronomy at Northern Arizona University, she was hired to work at the Smithsonian Submillimeter Array faculity on Maunakea as an Astrophysicist, responsible for operating the telescope array and organizing outreach activities across Hawaii. In 2016 she completed a Masters degree in Applied Physics from the University of Oregon,  where she focused on optical materials and devices and became interested in developing laser subsystems.  Upon graduation, she went...

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Portrait of Nadine Barlow

Nadine Barlow appointed Chair of the NAU Department of Physics & Astronomy

Friday, December 8, 2017

Nadine Barlow, NAU Space Grant Associate Director, will become Chair of the Department of Physics & Astronomy effective January 1, 2018.

"I look forward to working with her as the Department moves forward on many fronts. Nadine has extensive leadership experience in the Department which will facilitate a smooth transition."

- Paul Jagodzinski, Dean of NAU College of Engineering, Forestry & Natural Sciences 

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Emily Litvack, 2013 NAU Space Grant Intern

Emily Litvack, 2013 NAU Space Grant Intern

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Emily Litvack is a science writer at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

In 2013, Litvack was a science writing intern for the Arizona Daily Sun through the NAU/NASA Space Grant program. As an undergraduate student at NAU, Litvack was also a science writing intern for NAU’s research office, and worked on a USDA-funded research project studying diatoms to better understand the effects of wildfire on stream ecology.

Litvack is passionate about telling stories and solving problems. At the UA, she writes news and feature stories highlighting the work of faculty researchers and their collaborators. Naturally curious, Litvack delights in...

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NAU Golden Axe Spring 2017 Awardees

NAU Golden Axe Spring 2017 Awardees

Thursday, April 27, 2017

NAU has a couple of Space Grant students who were selected as NAU Golden Axe awardees.  One is a past intern from 2015 (Kiril Kirkov) who was also awarded the Distinguished Senior Award in addition to Golden Axe. He will be attending Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam for his PhD in migrant integration, transnationalism, and mobility. Based on his Stars for the Future project through the NASA Space Grant program, he developed a strong relationship with the STAR School, and the Navajo community.   He hopes to develop student exchange programs with educational institutions from the European Union.

The 2nd Golden Axe awardee...

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Paula Johns, 2011 NAU Space Grant Intern

Paula Johns, 2011 NAU Space Grant Intern

Friday, January 27, 2017

Paula was a N.A.S.A. Space Grant intern for the 2011-2012 academic year. During that year she worked with Dr. Lisa Prato at Lowell Observatory studying the accretion disks around binary star systems as well as the stars which they surround. After the internship, she continued to work with Lisa on characterizing accretion disks around binary star systems to further understand solar system formation and evolution. 

In the spring of 2013, Paula completed her B.S. in Physics and in Astronomy at Northern Arizona University. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Toledo. By utilizing archival data...

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Kendra Kellogg, 2009 NAU Space Grant Intern

Kendra Kellogg, 2009 NAU Space Grant Intern

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Kendra Kellogg is currently in her final year of her PhD at The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. She was a Space Grant intern for the 2009-2010 school year working with Dr. Lisa Prato at Lowell Observatory.

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Carin Cornwall, 2006 NAU Space Grant Intern

Carin Cornwall, 2006 NAU Space Grant Intern

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Arizona Space Grant was an amazing opportunity for me and laid the foundation for my research trajectory and success in my postgraduate studies. I was a Space Grant intern from 2006-2007 and I worked with my mentor, Dr. Tim Titus, at the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, researching carbon dioxide snowstorms on Mars.

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Jillian Urban, 2008 NAU Space Grant Intern

Jillian Urban, 2008 NAU Space Grant Intern

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Jillian received her PhD in Biomedical/Medical at the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences in June of 2015.  Her graduate research was primarily in understanding brain injury mechanisms.   Since earning her PhD, she has been a Research Assistant Professor at Wake Forest Baptist Health working with Joel Stitzel, PhD and   Joseph Maldjian, M.D. of the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University Center for Injury Biomechanics Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, National Institutes of Health/NINDS.  Their focus is on the Kinematic Impact Data Set/iTAKL Study.

Jillian is also working on Biomechanical Basis for Pediatric mTBI Due to Sports Related...

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NAU Space Grant Supports AISES First Nations Launch Rocketry Team

NAU Space Grant Supports AISES First Nations Launch Rocketry Team

Thursday, March 31, 2016

First Nation Team Mentors also have strong connections to Space Grant. Kyle Winfree a NAU Assistant Professor of Informatics/Computing was a 2003 NAU/NASA Space Grant Undergraduate Research Intern.  David Cole served for many years as the NAU/Space Grant Assistant Director.  Kudos to the Arizona First Nations Rocket Launch Team and to the NAU Space Grant Program!

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Leon Begay: Changes in Altitudes (2003 NAU) & Undergraduate Intern (2010 ASU)

Leon Begay: Changes in Altitudes (2003 NAU) & Undergraduate Intern (2010 ASU)

Monday, February 1, 2016

I got involved with NASA’s outreach programs through the Changes in Altitude program in 2003 as an 8th grader at the Tuba City Boarding School (TCBS) in Tuba City, AZ on the Navajo reservation. I came into the program under Ms. Drewett of TCBS who lead a gifted and talented program at my school for many years and coordinated STEM opportunities for students. The Changes in Altitude program challenged middle school students with the task of sending a data collecting parcel into high altitudes with a weather balloon. Being able to be mentored through Ms. Drewett and program staff, I...

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Justin Wilgus, 2014 NAU Space Grant Intern, and Crystae Rohman with NAU President Rita Cheng

Justin Wilgus, 2014 NAU Space Grant Intern

Monday, November 30, 2015

Dozens of NAU graduating seniors received honors in November of 2015, recognizing them for their contributions to Northern Arizona University.

Twenty-two students received the university’s coveted Gold Axe Award for their achievements. Two of the winners— Justin Wilgus (2014-15 NAU Space Grant Intern) and Crystae Rohman —also received the prestigious President’s Prize for their exemplary leadership, academic excellence and service to the NAU community.

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Simon Kelow, 2012 NAU Space Grant Intern

Simon Kelow, 2012 NAU Space Grant Intern

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

In his sophomore year, looking for his first official research project, Simon applied to the NASA Space grant at NAU, and was accepted to the program on a waiting list opportunity. This acceptance opened up many opportunities for him, the key one being a summer research experience at the University of Chicago, allowing him to study experimental biophysics for a summer.

After becoming more interested in biophysics, and wanting to continue in that field Simon applied to the NIH sponsored PREP program to gain one more year of research experience - specifically in computational biology. Grateful for these opportunities, Simon...

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Jeff Wheeler, 2006 NAU Space Grant Intern

Jeff Wheeler, 2006 NAU Space Grant Intern

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Jeff Wheeler is currently a Product Manager at PLEXSYS Interface Products in Camas, WA.  Jeff was a 2006 Space Grant student with the ASCEND! program while obtaining his Electrical Engineer degree. While at NAU, Jeff also was a 4 year starter on the NAU football team and a 3 time Western Regional qualifier for the NAU Track and Field team throwing the javelin. After graduating from NAU, Jeff utilized his degree working as both a Hardware and Software Engineer for WaferTech and Rockwell Collins before moving to PLEXSYS. While at Rockwell Collins, Jeff worked on Enhanced Vision System integration on...

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