Junior Matthew Grunewald to Receive $10K Astronaut Scholarship

Space Shuttle astronaut Robert Crippen will present senior Matthew Grunewald with a $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) during a public presentation and ceremony, September 27, 2011, at 10 a.m. in Rudder Theater at Texas A&M University.

In addition to officially presenting Grunewald with the award, Crippen will share his experiences of piloting the first space shuttle and spending over 23 days in space throughout his missions. The lecture is free and open to the public.

“Matthew is a clear leader in biochemistry and genetics at Texas A&M,” said Crippen. “He is a prime example of everything an Astronaut Scholar is supposed to be: intelligent, perseverant and destined for greatness. I am honored to have the opportunity to present this award to such a worthy A&M student.”

Astronaut Scholar Matthew Grunewald '12

Grunewald is a senior majoring in biochemistry and genetics. He plans to make studying medical sciences his life and earn advanced degrees in immunology and cell biology, with the hope of finding new ways and mechanisms to cure genetic and immunological diseases. A University Scholar, Grunewald is an active member of Texas A&M’s Honors Program and has also been the recipient of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and a DAAD-RISE grant for study in Germany.   In the near future, he hopes to study for a joint MD/PhD degree.  When not inside the lab or classroom, he can often be found with camera in hand, expanding his photography skills.

The Astronaut Scholarship is the largest monetary award given in the United States to science and engineering undergraduate students based solely on merit. Twenty-six of these prestigious awards were dispersed this year through the ASF to outstanding college students majoring in science, technology, engineering or math. More than $3 million has been awarded in scholarships to date. Since 1986, ASF has distributed $190,000 to Astronaut Scholars at Texas A&M University. These high-achieving students exhibit strong drive and phenomenal performance in their field, as well as intellectual daring and a genuine desire to positively change the world around them, both in and out of the classroom.

Robert Crippen was selected as a NASA Astronaut in September 1969. After serving as a member of the astronaut support crew for Skylab 2, 3 and 4, he was named Pilot for the first space shuttle flight, STS-1, and served as the spacecraft commander for STS-7, STS-41C and STS-41G. The STS-1 orbiter Columbia was the first spacecraft to launch with wings using solid rocket boosters, as well as the first winged reentry vehicle to return to a conventional runway landing. Crippen, a retired Navy captain, later served as director of Shuttle Operations at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC), and as KSC Director from 1992 to January 1995. He then served as president of Thiokol Aerospace Group in Utah and now resides in Florida. Crippen serves on the Board of Directors for the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation and was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on November 10, 2001.

For further information about the event, contact Mr. Kyle Mox at (979) 845-1957 or kemox@tamu.edu.

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