Space Grant Success Stories

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

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

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... Read more

Gold Axe Winner: Journey to unexpected success

Gold Axe Winner: Journey to unexpected success

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

Justin Wilgus, 2014 Space Grant Intern

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. Read more

Simon Kelow, 2012 Space Grant Intern

Simon Kelow, 2012 Space Grant Intern

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... Read more

Jeff Wheeler, 2006 Space Grant Intern

Jeff Wheeler, 2006 Space Grant Intern

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... Read more

Eric MacLennan, 2010 Space Grant Intern

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... Read more

Dr. Gary Miller, 1998 Space Grant Intern

Dr. Gary Miller, 1998 Space Grant Intern

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).... Read more

Bryan LaBore, 2009 Space Grant Intern

Bryan LaBore, 2009 Space Grant Intern

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... Read more

Astrogeology Video by Kent Wagner

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

John Zanazzi, 2009 Space Grant Intern

John Zanazzi, 2009 Space Grant Intern

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... Read more

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