Space Grant Success Stories

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

John Zanazzi is a senior triple major in physics, astronomy, and math, and takes approximately 18 credit hours per semester and is involved in both the Society for Physics Students and the Astronomy Club.

Along with university research (including a 2009 NASA Space Grant internship), Zanazzi also took part in opportunities off campus through the National Science Foundation (NSF), which helped pave the way for his work with Research Experiences for Undergraduates. This program allows students to conduct research in their areas of interest at several different institutions over the summer. During three separate trips,... Read more

Eric Kiang Tse, 2001 Space Grant Intern, 2005 NAU Grad

Eric Kiang Tse, 2001 Space Grant Intern, 2005 NAU Grad

Former NASA Space Grant Intern Eric Kiang Tse became aware of the vast opportunities available to undergraduates through this program and engaged himself to build on his growing appreciation for the veracity of scientific investigation. He enthusiastically completed a search for Kuiper Belt Objects under the guidance of Dr. Andy Odell and presented results at the Colloquium for NASA Space Grant Interns in 2002. "To gain practical knowledge allowing for scientific contribution is one of the many, priceless benefits offered by this program". Upon graduation in 2005 he was offered an 'Accelerator Systems Operator' position at the Stanford Linear Accelerator... Read more

Orianna Bretschger, 1999 Space Grant Intern, 1999 NAU Grad

Orianna Bretschger, 1999 Space Grant Intern, 1999 NAU Grad

Dr. Orianna Bretschger is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbial and Environmental Genomics at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), San Diego. She earned her B.S. in physics and astronomy from Northern Arizona University (1999), and Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Southern California (2008).  Orianna began her professional career at Raytheon Missile Systems and transitioned to a research career in 2004.  Since then, Dr. Bretschger has been studying bacterial electron transfer mechanisms and how bacteria can be applied to engineered systems for optimized energy recovery from organic matter.  As a part of her research, Dr.... Read more

Jillian Urban, 2008 Space Grant Intern, 2009 NAU Grad

Jillian Urban, 2008 Space Grant Intern, 2009 NAU Grad

I am currently a PhD student in the Center for Injury Biomechanics at the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences with Dr. Joel Stitzel.  I received a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Virginia Tech/Wake Forest University in May 2012.  My graduate research is primarily in understanding brain injury mechanisms.   The first part of this research focuses on the development of models of the brain and skull for use in predicting head injuries in car crashes.  A radiological analysis of head CT and MRI scans are used to quantify anatomical changes and develop a scalable finite element... Read more

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