Graduate Students Receive NASA Space Research Fellowships 2022

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Sixteen Penn State graduate students have received the 2022 NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant awards and been named graduate scholars.

The National Space Grant College and Fellowship Project – better known as the Space Grant – was founded in 1989. A network of more than 850 affiliates from academia, industry, museums, science centers and national agencies and local, the program aims to expand opportunities for the United States. citizens to understand and participate in NASA’s aeronautical and space projects. It does this by supporting and enhancing science and engineering education, research, and public outreach efforts in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

The one-year scholarship consists of $5,000 to help the student progress to a master’s or doctoral degree in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and related humanities to NASA research and development.

The following students are this year’s recipients:

College of Earth and Mineral Sciences

  • Zachary Goldberg, Department of Geography
    Advisor: Karl Zimmerman, Professor of Geography E. Willard and Ruby S. Miller
    “I’m researching the development of solar energy on farmland in Pennsylvania and Maryland, understanding the social and ecological outcomes of the initial development that has occurred over the past 10 years,” Goldberg said.
  • Tara Mazurczyk, Department of Geography
    Advisor: Trevor Birkenholtz, Associate Professor of Geography
    “I am interested in examining the impact of invasive plant species in wetland systems by assessing the patterns and processes underlying their establishment and facilitation,” Mazurczyk said. “I interpret the interactions of different plant species and their environments, as well as the consequences of these interactions related to the dynamics of populations, communities and ecosystems using a mixture of observational and modeling methods to assess the field data as well as remote sensing data.
  • Kate Meyers, Department of Geosciences
    Advisor: Miquela Ingalls, Assistant Professor of Geosciences
    “My research aims to determine the phosphate uptake capacity of carbonate under high phosphorus concentration flows and to determine the mode of phosphorus incorporation into carbonate minerals by synchrotron phase identification. This research will be applied to modern wastewater remediation practices in the Florida Keys and to paleoclimate reconstructions,” Meyers said.
  • Nolan Roth, Department of Geosciences
    Advisor: Tieyuan Zhu, Assistant Professor of Geophysics
    I work to understand earthquakes – ground vibrations caused by lightning. Earthquakes could be an invaluable new source to use when studying the subsurface,” Roth said.
  • Aral Yarber, Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
    Advisor: Gregory Jenkins, Professor of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, Geography and African Studies
    “My research aims to quantify the levels, sources and chemical composition of particulate pollution in West African cities using observational data and the weather research and forecasting model coupled with the chemistry,” Yarber said.

Eberly College of Science

  • Macy Huston, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
    Advisor: Jason Wright, Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics
    “I’m looking for planets and life beyond our solar system,” Huston said.
  • Rebecca Katz, Department of Chemistry
    Advisor: Ray Schaak, DuPont Professor of Materials Chemistry; and Zhiqiang Mao, Professor of Physics, Materials Science and Engineering, and Chemistry
    “I synthesize and characterize materials for clean energy generation and storage,” Katz said.
  • Nathaniel Sturniolo, Department of Chemistry
    Advisor: Lauren Zarzar, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
    “I am computer modeling and characterizing a new class of colorful iridescent structures and investigating their usefulness for various applications ranging from security and anti-counterfeiting measures to remote sensing and surveillance capabilities,” Sturniolo said.
  • Jessica Thompson, Department of Chemistry
    Advisor: Danielle R. Hickey, Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering
    “I study vitrified biological systems using a focused ion beam method that allows electron tomography,” Thompson said.
    Gabriel Vasquez-Lizardi, Department of Chemistry
    Advisor: Danielle R. Hickey, Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering
    “My research focuses on the study of structural transformations of metallic nanocrystals via in situ translation electron microscopy, including their plasmonic properties, reactivity and stability for heterogeneous catalysis,” Vasquez-Lizardi said.

College of Engineering

  • Joseph Molnar, Department of Mechanical Engineering
    Advisor: Samuel Grauer, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
    “My research focuses on achieving reliable measurements of complex thermofluid systems and thus enables advances in research and development in the fields of aviation, armaments and chemical processes. Specifically, I use machine learning and data assimilation techniques to improve flow field reconstructions from experimental measurements,” said Molnar.
  • Masen Nartatez, Department of Mechanical Engineering
    Advisor: Karen Thole, Emeritus Professor of Mechanical Engineering
    “My research focuses on analyzing turbine cooling methods to create more efficient gas turbines and promote sustainable aviation,” Nartatez said.
  • Claire Rodman, Department of Mechanical Engineering
    Advisor: Anne Martin, Martin W. Trethewey Early Career Professor, Assistant Professor
    “My research focuses on an intersection of biomechanics and robotics, studying human walking with the assistance of an exoskeleton. Specifically, I am developing a predictive model of a human exoskeleton system to better understand how people respond and adapt to different environments and exoskeleton assist strategies,” Rodman said.
  • Jessica Sacco, Department of Chemical Engineering
    Advisor: Esther Gomez, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering
    “I study how mechanical signals from the cellular microenvironment control cell behavior and signaling during disease progression,” Sacco said.
  • William Searight, Department of Nuclear Engineering
    Advisor: Leigh Winfrey, Associate Professor of Nuclear Engineering
    “My work is focused on high temperature furnace testing of structural composites and alloys for space nuclear power and propulsion systems to provide experimental confirmation of long-term endurance against heat and corrosion. hydrogen gas mixtures. Material samples are analyzed for mechanical, thermal and microstructural changes after exposure using various instruments provided by the Penn State Materials Research Institute in the Materials Characterization Laboratory,” said searight.

College of Health and Human Development

  • Amrita Arcot, Department of Nutritional Sciences
    Advisor: Alison D. Gernand, Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences
    “I am currently reviewing the status of vitamin B12 during pregnancy. I have a particular interest in vitamin B12 and its role in placental development,” Arcot said.

liberal arts college

  • Marguerite Hernández, Department of Anthropology
    Advisers: George Perry, associate professor of anthropology and biology; and Mary Shenk, associate professor of anthropology, demography and Asian studies
    “My research aims to break down the misconception that Latinx are a monolith by studying the variation in genomic ancestry and health outcomes among waves of Cuban migrants to the United States. Additionally, I study the factors that may influence these differences in health outcomes among waves of migration, including differential lived experiences, instances of racism and discrimination, and social support,” Hernandez said.

Comments are closed.