NAU Space Grant Success Stories

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 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 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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Eric MacLennan, 2010 NAU Space Grant Intern

Eric MacLennan, 2010 NAU Space Grant Intern

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Eric MacLennan is a PhD student in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. After his Space Grant internship in the 2010-2011 academic year he was awarded a summer internship position at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii, through the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. His REU experience led him to become interested in studying asteroids. After graduating NAU in 2012 he became a graduate student in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he is currently working towards his...

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Dr. Gary Miller, 1998 NAU Space Grant Intern

Dr. Gary Miller, 1998 NAU Space Grant Intern

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dr. Gary A. Miller is a Research Physicist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. He received a merged B.S. degree in physics and astronomy from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ in 1998. In 2001, he was awarded a M.S. degree in optics from The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. In 2001, he left Rochester to finish his doctoral research at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. In 2005, he completed his Ph.D. with The Institute of Optics, studying the fabrication, modeling, and photosensitivity mechanisms of post-exposed fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs)....

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Bryan LaBore, 2009 NAU Space Grant Intern

Bryan LaBore, 2009 NAU Space Grant Intern

Monday, November 10, 2014

Bryan was a Space Grant intern during the 2009-2010 school year and graduated from NAU in the spring of 2011 with a B.S. in Biomedical Science. After graduation, he enrolled in the University of Minnesota School of Public Health for two years and obtained a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology in 2013. His research at UMN looked at possible associations between various types of gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma and potential risk factors such as diabetes, obesity, increased waist-to-hip ratio, and increased waist circumference in a population of post-menopausal women. Bryan’s interests in graduate school also involved health care policy and infectious...

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Astrogeology Video by Kent Wagner

Friday, November 1, 2013

Check out this very well made video on astrogeology by 2012 NAU Space Grant Intern Kent Wagner!

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John Zanazzi, 2009 NAU Space Grant Intern

John Zanazzi, 2009 NAU Space Grant Intern

Monday, April 15, 2013

J.J. Zanazzi is a first year graduate student working with Dong Lai at Cornell University, in the area of Theoretical Astrophysics.  He received two B.S. degrees from Northern Arizona University: a merged B.S. in Physics and Astronomy and a B.S. in Mathematics.  As an undergraduate, he has done research in a variety of fields and institutions.  At the University of California Davis, he has worked with Lloyd Knox in theoretical cosmology.  At Penn State, he has worked with Anton Petrunin and Misha Guysinsky in convex geometry and dynamical systems.  At Wayne State, he did research in experimental nuclear physics with...

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