Astronaut Scholars

The Astronaut Scholarship is funded by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF), a nonprofit organization created by the Mercury 7 astronauts in 1984. The foundation strives to aid the U.S. in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships to the very best and brightest college students pursuing degrees in STEM majors at select institutions.

Purdue is a foundation member institution based on its history of producing significant numbers of professional scientists, academic scientists, engineers, and researchers. As such, six Purdue students are selected for nomination annually, three of whom are granted an Astronaut Scholarship of up to $15,000 for the following academic year. Special consideration is not given to aeronautical/astronautical engineering students or those intending to pursue careers as astronauts.

Scholars attend an orientation weekend in August/September each year that includes presenting their research at a technical conference, attending the Innovators Gala at which the the Neil Armstrong™ Award of Excellence is awarded to an Astronaut Scholarship alumus, and social/professional events that vary from year to year. Scholars also have the option to seek a mentor through ASF, which we strongly encourage Purdue Scholars to pursue. 

Past Scholars, 2013 - Present

photo of Ethan Brady

Ethan Brady, 2022

photo of John Putziger

Meenakshi McNamara, 2022


Jacob Halpern, 2022

photo of Joseph Kirchhoff

Joseph Kirchhoff, 2021

photo of John Putziger

John Putziger, 2021

photo of Abigail Sipes

Abigail Sipes, 2021

photo of Maia Clare

Maia Clare, 2020

photo of Zachary Marshall

Zachary Marshall, 2020

photo of Lindsey Wilson

Lindsey Wilson, 2020

photo of Natalie Kadlubowski

Natalie Kadlubowski, 2019

Photo of Chrishan Fernando

Chrishan Fernando, 2018

photo of Caleigh Roleck

Caleigh Roleck, 2017, 2018

photo of Shovik Bandyopadhyay

Shovik Bandyopadhyay, 2016

photo of Samuel Otto

Samuel Otto, 2015

photo of Emily Erickson

Emily Erickson, 2013, 2014


Past Scholars, 1987 - 2012

  • Kandace Kiefer, 2011
  • Yuri Kubo, 2009, 2010
  • Timothy Duquette, 2008
  • Christine Troy, 2007
  • Alexei Czeskis, 2006
  • Jayleen Guttromson-Johnson, 2003-2004
  • Erica Gerace, 2002
  • Glen Nixon, 2001
  • Elizabeth Cotner, 2000
  • Theresa Debban, 1998, 1999
  • David McKinley, 1997
  • Belinda Marchand, 1996
  • Anthony Roach, 1994-1995
  • Virginia Anthes, 1994
  • Doug Adams, 1993
  • Matthew Szolwinski, 1992
  • Scott Tamblyn, 1990-1991
  • Mark Sepanski, 1989
  • Steve Vavrus, 1988
  • Pamela Rowe Mechling, 1987