In 1984, six of the surviving Mercury 7 Astronauts (Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Walter Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton), the widow of Virgil ‘Gus’ Grissom, IA Alpha ’50; William Douglas, M.D. (Project Mercury flight surgeon), and Henri Landwirth (businessman and friend) founded the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). Its mission was to ensure that the United States would be the global leader in technology for decades to come by supporting and encouraging students to pursue scientific excellence.
Ten Tau Beta Pi student members are among this year’s class of 68 scholars. The members are:
Elise R. Belanger, OH Xi ’23
Miami University- Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Physics
Rachael N. Coates, LA Alpha ’23
Louisiana State University- Chemical Engineering
Matthew Cufari, NY Beta ’23
Syracuse University- Physics, Computer Science
Eva R. Damon USAF, CO Zeta ’23
United States Air Force Academy- Electrical and Computer Engineering
Nitish Dashora, CA Alpha ’23
University of California, Berkeley- Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Arun S. Johnson, CA Alpha ’23
University of California, Berkeley- Chemical Engineering
Max Salzer, ND Alpha ’23
North Dakota State University- Mechanical Engineering
Akila Saravanan, MA Beta, ’23
Massachusetts Institute of Technology- Aerospace Engineering and Computer Science
Mulan Tang, OK Alpha ’23
University of Oklahoma- Biomedical Engineering
Alec F. Vercruysse, CA Omega ’23
Harvey Mudd College- Engineering
The Scholarship is among one of the largest merit-based monetary scholarships awarded to STEM juniors and seniors and funds up to $15,000 of educational expenses. Recipients are also given the opportunity to represent their schools and present their research at the Scholar Technical Conference; professional mentoring for one year by scholarship alumni, a C-suite executive, or an astronaut; the opportunity to participate in a professional development program and foundation events; and are granted membership in the Astronaut Scholar Honor Society.
They will receive the award during the ASF Innovators Week and Gala in August. To read more about the scholarship and view a full list of recipients, visit the ASF website.