Downingtown Native, Senior at Penn State Named an Astronaut Scholar

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Image of Katelyn Kirchner via Penn State.

Downingtown native Katelyn Kirchner, a senior at Penn State majoring in materials science and engineering, has earned a prestigious Astronaut Scholarship, writes Sean Yoder for Penn State News.

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation recognizes more than 50 exceptional students from STEM fields each year.

Penn State can only nominate up to two applicants for the scholarship, so students have to first pass an internal selection process that is facilitated by the University Fellowships Office.

Kirchner was shocked to find out that she had become one of the scholarship recipients.

“This was not something I reasonably expected, and it reminded me yet again how lucky I am to be at Penn State,” she said. “It’s the research experiences, mentors, and personal advocates who gave me the confidence to apply in the first place.”

As part of her undergraduate research under John Mauro, professor of materials science and engineering, Kirchner computationally modeled fluctuations in glass structure.

Read more about Katelyn Kirchner at Penn State News here.

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