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Virginia Space Grant Consortium scholarships

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) is pleased to announce the awarding of $330,100 in scholarships and fellowships to seventy-seven students pursuing higher education at Virginia Space Grant Universities and Community Colleges for the 2008-09 academic year.

The VSGC is a coalition of five Virginia colleges and universities (Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, Old Dominion University, Hampton University, and College of William and Mary), NASA, the Virginia Community College System, other state educational agencies, Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology, and other institutions representing diverse aerospace education and research.

Students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and other fields of study related to aerospace are eligible to apply. The students are selected by a committee of Consortium representatives for awards based on their academic merit, academic potential, and letters of reference. Students submitting proposals for awards to support aerospace-related research are also judged on the quality of the research and its relationship to NASA’s mission.

VSGC provides monetary awards in five categories:

Graduate Research Fellowships are $5,000 renewable awards (up to three years) of add-on graduate support for students enrolled at a Virginia Space Grant university pursuing any field of graduate study (Masters or Doctoral level) with aerospace relevance. The students’ universities contribute matching funds. VSGC awarded $200,000 in Graduate Research Fellowships to 40 students.

Undergraduate Research Scholarships are one-year, non-renewable awards of up to $8,500 for undergraduate students enrolled in a Virginia Space Grant university pursuing any field of study with aerospace relevance and actively engaged in a research project. VSGC awarded $103,100 in Undergraduate Research Scholarships to 13 students.

Teacher Education STEM Scholarships are $1,000 awards given to students enrolled at a Virginia Space Grant university in a track that leads to teacher certification in STEM at a pre-college setting. VSGC awarded $12,000 in Teacher Education Scholarships to 12 students.

Community College STEM Scholarships are $1,500 awards made to students enrolled at a Virginia community college, who have completed at least one semester of coursework and are pursuing a program of study in STEM and indicates an interest in aerospace. VSGC awarded $9,000 in Community College Scholarships to 6 students.

Freshman/Sophomore Bridge STEM Scholarships are $1,000 awards to rising freshman students from any federally recognized minority attending any Virginia Space Grant University and majoring in a STEM field. Awardees are selected based on their academic merit and interest in a career in STEM. Awards are renewable in the student’s sophomore year. VSGC awarded $6,000 to six freshman students in this new scholarship program.

Space Grant Research Scholars and Fellows must be engaged in an identified research project with a faculty advisor as part of their academic program. Students receiving awards present their research findings at an annual student research conference in the spring semester. VSGC Freshman STEM Scholars will be required to attend the 2009 conference to network with students and faculty.

“The VSGC Scholarship and Fellowship program is a very competitive program, and we continue to be impressed by the quality and intellectual merit of the research projects proposed by the students. We are very excited to be providing these seventy-seven students with funding that directly impacts their ability to pursue their academic and research interests. We are particularly excited about the new Freshman Bridge STEM Scholarship which will assist undergraduate students in investigating their research interests and identifying research opportunities,” stated Chris Carter, VSGC Assistant Director and coordinator of the VSGC Scholarship and Fellowship program.

Since the inception of the program in 1990, the Virginia Space Grant Consortium has awarded nearly $4 million dollars in scholarships and fellowships to over 800 students.

More information on the Consortium and its scholarship programs is available at http://www.vsgc.odu.edu/.