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Six graduate students earn Reach for the Stars Fellowships


February 07, 2011

Reach for the Stars fellowships have been awarded to six outstanding new master's students who demonstrate academic excellence and contribute to diversity in their field of study and the profession.

Students must be nominated by their admitting academic unit. Fellowship support is provided by the Graduate College during the first year of study in the master's degree program. In the second year, the academic unit provides a Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant position.

“The Reach for the Stars fellows were selected for their accomplishments and academic excellence,” says Andrew Webber, Associate Vice Provost. “We are proud to help them achieve their educational goals.”

The six Reach for the Stars fellows are: 

• Nam Nguyen, pursuing a master's degree in microbiology, wants to culture and identify difficult-to-culture microorganisms. He’s in the School of Life Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 

• Manuel Padilla is advancing his engineering knowledge, specifically in energy storage materials. After achieving his master’s degree in materials science and engineering, he wants to contribute to the improvement of energy storage materials and battery technology. Padilla is in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy at Ira A Fulton Schools of Engineering.

• After receiving her degree in civil, environmental and sustainable engineering, Carmen Parks-Castilleja would like to work as a transportation engineer for a private or public firm. She is in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Ira A Fulton Schools of Engineering.

• Nathan Rodriguez is researching physical phenomena that affect technical systems as part of his master’s degree in civil, environmental and sustainable engineering. His goal is to make possible safe and prudent design decisions. Rodriguez is in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Ira A Fulton Schools of Engineering.

• Kade Twist, pursuing a master’s degree in intermedia art, hopes to continue exhibiting art internationally, have gallery representation and work as a professor of art at a university. He is in the School of Art at Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

• Catherine Vale is working towards employment with a museum or other historical institution and an understanding of how to operate a children's museum. She is pursuing an M.A. degree in history in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.