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Carthage students and faculty awarded $86K for STEM projects

May 11, 2018

Twenty-two Carthage students and faculty have received more than $86,000 in funding from the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium this year to conduct research and to participate in WSGC programs and NASA internships.

Jeremiah Munson ’20 (physics) received a $6,500 WSGC NASA Internship award. The award will allow Jeremiah to participate in the NASA CubeSat Design and Engineering Model Space Academy, a 10-week summer program at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The program is a highly competitive internship experience that recruits applicants from across the country.

Sheila Franklin ’19 (physics), Megan Janiak ’20 (physics), and Taylor Peterson ’21 (physics) received WSGC Undergraduate Research Fellowships, totaling $14,650, to conduct research on the Carthage College-NASA collaboration, Modal Propellant Gauging (MPG). They will design and construct a payload experiment for flight on Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft. Carthage has two payload contracts with Blue Origin to fly MPG research aboard the spacecraft.

Preparing Wisconsin’s first-ever CubeSat for launch will be Celestine Ananda ’20 (physics), Nicholas Bartel ’20 (physics), Zac Erickson ’19 (physics), Charles Gallagher ’19 (computer science), and Austin Weber ’20 (physics). The team of juniors and seniors received a combined $24,750 in WSGC Space Science Research Fellowships. Celestine, Nicholas, and Austin were each awarded $4,000 WSGC Undergraduate Scholarships for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Alessandro Tocci ’20 (physics) rounds out the WSGC sponsored SURE students with a $4,000 Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Alessandro’s research with Professor Brant Carlson focuses on “The Study of Sprites.”

The Lake Michigan Launchers, Carthage College’s high-power rocket launch team, received funding from WSGC to assist with project costs related to the greater Wisconsin undergraduate competition that was hosted on campus and at Richard Bong Recreational Area April 20-21. Tom Shannon ’19 (physics, computer science) led the six-person team, joined by Celestine, Nicholas, Madeline Ellie ’21 (physics), Zachary Scheunemann ’21 (physics), and Sophia Tajnai ’21 (physics). This marked Carthage’s third year in the statewide competition.

WSGC awarded biology professor Deboriah Tobiason $19,120 for a multi-institutional project, “Space Phage: An undergraduate course-based research experience for investigating the adaptation of bacteriophages in the spaceflight environment.” Carthage and the University of Wisconsin—River Falls will partner on the collaborative effort.

Alumna Kristine (Krukowski) Heuser ’14 (biology) participated in the WSGC Embedded Teacher program, in which middle and high-school science teachers are offered the opportunity to develop demonstrations to fly on a microgravity flight with the Carthage research students. Ms. Heuser, accompanied by a videographer, flew 30 parabolas with student-designed experiments on the behavior of liquids in zero-gravity.

Carthage became the lead institution for NASA Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium in 2014. Since then, 123 Carthage faculty and students have received more than $340,000 in fellowships, scholarships, internships, and grants. The WSGC is a member institution of the national network of Space Grant Consortia, funded by NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program.

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