CSU students Raegan Petch (left) and Jessica Roberts are each recipients of Astronaut Scholarships.
In April, Raegan Petch and Jessica Roberts in Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences were named Goldwater Scholars, a top undergraduate award in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Now, the two students have another prestigious STEM honor to add to their resumes: the Astronaut Scholarship.
In 1984, the six surviving Mercury 7 astronauts – the first Americans in space – established the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, which annually awards more than 50 scholarships to college STEM students. It is known for being among the largest merit-based monetary scholarships awarded to STEM juniors and seniors.
This is the first year CSU has had two students named Astronaut Scholars. In 2018, CSU celebrated its first Astronaut Scholar — Ben Fixman, also from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Petch and Roberts, also part of the CSU Honors Program, both expressed gratitude to CVMBS faculty for their support and guidance in helping them with the Astronaut Scholarships as well as the Goldwater Scholarships.
“I feel really honored to be included among the other amazing students who have received these awards,” said Petch, who is from Elbert, Colorado. “I am incredibly grateful to have received both of these scholarships, and I look forward to creating connections with the other scholars and with other individuals associated with each foundation.”
“I feel really honored to be included among the other amazing students who have received these awards.”
— Raegan Petch
Roberts, from Phoenix, shared similar sentiments, expressing appreciation for her colleagues in the Synapse Biology and Cognition Laboratory, where her research focuses on the overstimulation of neural networks in Alzheimer’s disease.
“The members of my lab are really supportive of my learning in the lab,” she said. “They’re always willing to answer my questions, and they’ve helped me gain a better understanding of research and neuroscience in general.”
Petch and Roberts, who were at home when they received the scholarship news, both said they are looking forward to getting back on campus to continue their research and collaboration with classmates.
Petch, now a senior in microbiology, has worked in the VandeWoude Laboratory, led by Professor Sue VandeWoude, which led to her interest in infectious disease research.
“I’d like to thank the members of my lab for supporting my career goals and encouraging me to pursue opportunities that will be beneficial in the future.”
— Jessica Roberts
“CSU has been absolutely instrumental in helping me to this realization and providing me the resources to be successful,” she said. “My professors, coworkers and peers have continuously encouraged me and have helped to ensure that I put myself in the best possible position for my future career.”
Roberts, a junior studying neuroscience, shared similar sentiments: “I’d like to thank the members of my lab for supporting my career goals and encouraging me to pursue opportunities that will be beneficial in the future.”