Asu Transfer Student Scholarships – As college transfer students begin taking courses in a larger and more complex university environment, they face a number of challenges. Navigating a new campus, succeeding in larger classes and securing opportunities for bachelor’s studies can be daunting.
But Arizona State University is launching a new scholarship program aimed specifically at helping transfer students engage in undergraduate research — increasing the student’s chances of being accepted to medical and graduate schools. ASU’s new scholarship program will provide $600,000 in scholarships to graduate science students over the next five years. Photo: Andy DeLisle Download the full image
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“We found that transfer students do not participate in basic research as much as students starting their college experience at ASU,” said Sarah Brownell, an assistant professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences and the principal investigator of the program’s new grant. “This is a problem because undergraduate research can provide students with a unique opportunity to learn how to conduct research. We also know that participating in research as an undergraduate helps students secure their future beyond earning a bachelor’s degree.”
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The National Science Foundation is providing $1 million to establish a new scholarship program at ASU called the LEAP Scholars Program, which will provide $600,000 in scholarships to graduate science students over the next five years.
As LEAP Scholars, students will learn about research, conduct research in a faculty member’s research laboratory, and present their research findings to the public. Incoming transfer students from community colleges who demonstrate academic success, financial need and intend to enroll in degrees offered by ASU’s School of Life Sciences, School of Molecular Sciences, School of Earth and Space Exploration or Department of Physics are eligible for the program.
The scholarships are intended to increase the number of transfer students conducting research by helping them offset the need to work while in college.
“We know that transfer students often work while in school, and that often means they don’t have time for research. This grant program is designed to help students ease their need for off-campus work so they can focus on research instead, says Brownell, director of the LEAP Scholars Program.
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This scholarship program is the first program specific to transfer students, a group that ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is particularly interested in helping. A recent college-wide initiative called Transfer Matters highlighted the concerns of transfer students and identified possible solutions to identified problems. This scholarship program grew out of one of these recommendations.
LEAP Scholars Program Director Kathleen Cooper said there is a real need for scholarships aimed at transfer students.
“Prior to this program, we did not have a scholarship program specifically aimed at research-interested students, even though transfer students make up more than 40 percent of students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree in the School of Life Sciences. It fills a huge need,” Cooper said.
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Brittany Nese’s longtime dream has been to work in the aerospace industry, and she’s not waiting to graduate. In the fall of 2015, the aerospace engineer founded the Arizona State University Next Level Devils to participate in NASA’s Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment. Design Teams software, better known as Micro-g NExT. A year later, the team’s proposal was accepted and…
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ASU engineering students will embark on a microgravity adventure with NASA Next Level Devils to participate in NASA’s Micro-g NExT program this month near the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Brittany Nese’s longtime dream has been to work in the aerospace industry, and she’s not waiting to graduate.
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In the fall of 2015, the aerospace engineer founded the Arizona State University Next Level Devils to participate in NASA’s Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams program, better known as Micro-g NExT. A year later, the team’s proposal was accepted, and they are preparing to take their design to NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) near Houston’s Johnson Space Center for testing this summer. The Next Level Devils prepare to test their Cone Cone Mount before heading to NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory near the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Photo by Marco-Alexis Chaira/ASU Download full image
The Micro-g NExT program challenges students to design, build and test a tool or device that addresses an authentic, ongoing space challenge. The structures are tested by trained divers in the simulated microgravity environment of NBL.
When Ira A. A team of Fulton School of Engineering students accepted the challenge in August 2016, and had three months to design and write a proposal. They were notified of acceptance in December and since then have produced, tested and participated in outreach activities.
“A key goal of our project and the opportunity to participate in the NASA program is community outreach,” said Patrick Hull, a mechanical engineering junior who is the team’s design lead. “We have participated in events on campus such as Night of Open Door, as well as going to local high schools to teach STEM lesson plans related to aerospace topics.” Next Level Devils begins.
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While interning for NASA’s space scholarship program, Nez learned about the competition and ASU’s lack of representation in the program. Nez contacted several students who he thought would be interested. The team immediately prepared with meetings and some inspiration from Jack Lightholder, the former leader of the ASU Dust Devils Microgravity team, who participated in a similar program a few years ago. Lightholder inspired the team to continue the project and work toward submitting an application for the 2015-2016 school year. Unfortunately, the team encountered a design flaw and was unable to submit a proposal due to time constraints.
“A lot of what we learned was about project guidelines, especially the safety guidelines that apply to both the professional divers who will be doing the projects in Houston’s neutral tank in June, as well as potential astronauts in space,” Hull said. “We also learned to design our project with simplicity in mind, after later receiving feedback from NASA that our design was complex.
“I think we were able to structure better for the second attempt,” Nez said. “We learned from our mistakes the first time and had a better idea of how to structure the team in terms of support, funding and the overall engineering process of the project.
“To me, that’s the most important part,” Nez said. “There are hundreds of different ways a team can solve this problem, and really narrowing down the project that works best for the whole team has been a huge factor in our success.
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According to Nez, the Next Level Devils team of 12 students is diverse, and each member brings something different to the table.
Nez leads the group as team president. Aerospace engineer Alec Cook is the team’s vice president and production manager, and Hull is the team’s design manager, treasurer and secretary. The rest of the team consists of aeronautical engineering students Alessandro Laspina, Garrett Nez, Maria Samir, Christian Sclafani, Justin Tang, Evren Unner and Gasho Bizana, an aeronautical and mechanical engineering student. Chemical engineering student Vakile Shongwe and Robert Mann, a molecular life science and biotechnology student from ASU’s School of Life Sciences, round out the team. The team is led by Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Hamid Marvi and Distinguished Faculty Fellow Joseph Foy of ASU’s Barrett, Honors College.
“We all have different upbringings and different experiences, which brings many perspectives to our challenge,” Nez said. Gravity in space
When we think of objects in space, we imagine them in zero gravity. In fact, they exist in the microgravity environment, meaning that the objects are outside the celestial body’s sphere of influence, but are still affected by gravity on a small scale.
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NASA has discovered that it is very difficult to attach to an unconsolidated surface in microgravity. Because of the low gravity in space, especially when bodies are like asteroids, anchors are needed to keep equipment and people on the surface.
This is where the next level devils come in. The team is building an airborne docking device to attach to the sand-like surface of a planet or asteroid. They will test their prototype, which was built by the team using TechShop Chandler facilities. In addition, the Next Level Devils will test a pair of 3D printed aluminum drills supplied to the team by Donald Godfrey and the additive manufacturing team at Honeywell Aerospace.
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