Chelsea Atkins, a junior aeronautics major at Kent State University, was recently awarded an Ohio Space Grant Consortium Junior Scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year. Atkins, from Detroit, is one of approximately 100 students from 25 Ohio universities and colleges to receive this scholarship.
Atkins was recommended for this scholarship by members of Kent State’s College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology, including I. Richmond Nettey, Ph.D., and Lawrence Epps. Nettey, associate dean for the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology at Kent State, has known Atkins ever since her first semester on campus.
“She is highly motivated and determined to do well,” said Nettey, especially in this male-dominated field of study. “Her success as an out-of-state student and being a member of an underrepresented group in the field speaks very highly of her as a person.”
Epps, a senior advisor in Kent State’s College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology, also has known Atkins since she has been at Kent State and even remembers her when she visited campus.
“If I had to use one adjective to describe her, it would be ‘go-getter,’” Epps said. “Receiving the scholarship is validation of the work that she has done in this college.”
For the project aspect of her application, Atkins, with help from Nettey, decided to do research on Next Gen, a program for the advancement of communication between pilots and air traffic controllers. Atkins will be researching the efficiency current implementations and providing her analysis of Next Gen and its future.
Atkins is currently the president of Kent State’s chapter of Women in Aviation, an organization for women in aeronautics-related majors.
“Women in Aviation is one more group that puts you closer with people in your field of study and creates bonds with other students,” Atkins said. “It also gives you the chance to volunteer in the field and learn how to be a professional.”
She also is a member of Alpha Eta Rho, a co-ed aviation fraternity.
The scholarship, available to all science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) undergraduate students, is worth $3,000 for the school year and is renewable pending academic performance and approval from the Ohio Space Grant Consortium campus representative. Interested students are required to send in an application, personal objective statement including what the scholarship would mean to them, as well as two letters of recommendation, transcripts and a proposed plan for a research project.
This is Kent State’s first year as a member of the Ohio Space Grant Consortium, and Atkins is the third recipient of the scholarship from Kent State in that time.
“One of the biggest challenges that we face in the STEM field is getting students to actually take the time to apply for the scholarship,” said Gerald Thompkins, Ph.D., Ohio Space Grant Consortium administrator at Kent State. “For Chelsea to be a recipient of this prestigious scholarship is really significant because she is only one of three students to have received it here at Kent State.”
Atkins says that receiving the scholarship means everything to her.
“This scholarship is very helpful in that it gives me one less thing to worry about this semester,” Atkins said.
She says that this is the first semester that she has not had to pay out of pocket for school. Atkins also is appreciative of the help and guidance from both Nettey and Epps.
“They both have made me feel comfortable since I got here, and they make me feel like I can do anything,” she said.
For more information about the Ohio Space Grant Consortium and its scholarships, visit http://www.osgc.org/.
For more information about Kent State’s College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology, visit www.kent.edu/caest.
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