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Tue, Oct. 15

ERAU students receive NSF fellowship

Rachel Rise, left, Renee Spear, center, and Julia Mihaylov have been recognized by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. (Embry-Riddle/Courtesy)

Rachel Rise, left, Renee Spear, center, and Julia Mihaylov have been recognized by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. (Embry-Riddle/Courtesy)

Three aerospace engineering students from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott campus have been awarded or received honorable mention for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP).

Graduating seniors Renee Spear and Rachel Rise will receive a three-year stipend of $34,000 a year for graduate school as well as $12,000 a year to the school of their choice, with all tuition and fees waived. Graduating senior Julia Mihaylov was also recognized for her outstanding accomplishments by receiving an honorable mention.

The NSF GRFP fellowship program supports outstanding graduate students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields by covering tuition and offering a monthly stipend covering cost-of-living for three years of graduate studies.

Spear plans to attend the University of Colorado to pursue her Ph.D. in Astrodynamics, focusing on research in mission and trajectory design to produce tools for interstellar space missions. Ultimately, she hopes to make an impact on spacecraft and mission design — propelling the technology, concepts, and capabilities forward through the optimization of existing procedures and exploration of new avenues in software, technology, designs, and concepts.

Rise is considering options at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Colorado. At MIT, she would study safety-critical systems where failure can result in loss of life or property. At CU, she would study behavioral and biomedical issues in extreme environments such as microgravity.

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