Two KU seniors earn Astronaut scholarships

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The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation named two University of Kansas students as Astronaut Scholars for the 2019-20 school year. Both of the recipients also earned Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships this year.

Eleanor Stewart-Jones, from Mission and Tyler Nguyen, of Kansas City are both seniors and chemistry majors. The students will join an elite group of 52 recipients from 38 universities who will receive up to $10,000 and opportunities to participate in professional development events while being mentored by scholar alumni, C-level executives or an astronaut.

“Both Tyler and Eleanor are outstanding selections for this award. They are both up-and-coming talents in their fields, and I know they will represent themselves and their university well,” said Steve Hawley, a KU professor emeritus of physics & astronomy and a former NASA astronaut who serves as the chairman of the scholarship’s campus committee. “I look forward to seeing the impact they will have through their work and their research.”

The six surviving Mercury 7 astronauts founded the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation in 1984 as a means to encourage students to pursue scientific endeavors to keep the U.S. on the leading edge of technology.

The Astronaut Scholarship specifically recognizes juniors and seniors who have demonstrated accomplishment in research and the potential to be future leaders in research and technology. 

Astronauts from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs have joined the foundation.

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation accepted KU as a partner institution in 2014 based on the excellence of the university’s STEM academic programs for undergraduates and the strong research capabilities and opportunities for undergraduate students.

Admission into the scholarship program is highly competitive and only the top research universities in the country are chosen to participate. 

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