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Miami senior awarded $10,000 astronaut scholarship

09/19/2009

Miami University senior Iordan Ganev will receive a $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) on Friday, Sept. 25. The award will be presented by Al Worden, Apollo 15 astronaut.

Worden will speak at 11 a.m. in the Marcum Conference Center. The talk, free and open to the public, will be followed by the check presentation. Worden is chairman of the board of ASF, a nonprofit organization established in 1984 by the six surviving members of America’s original Mercury Seven astronauts.

Ganev, from Oxford, is a mathematics and statistics major and environmental science co-major and a member of the university honors program. He has been involved in research with faculty mentors at Miami since he was a first year student. He has worked on projects with Nancy Solomon, professor of zoology, and Brian Keane, associate professor of zoology, Miami Hamilton, conducting statistical analyses on the behavioral ecology of prairie voles. He was an Undergraduate Summer Scholar with mentors Doug Noe, assistant professor of statistics, and Hank Stevens, associate professor of botany, on statistical models for ecological studies.

Ganev also worked with Tom Farmer, associate professor of mathematics, conducting a research project involving algebraic groups. He was a contributing writer on a manuscript published in the Journal of Mammology and has presented his research at a national mathematics meeting. He has also studied abroad.
Ganev has received other awards including the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and the Miami University Provost’s Academic Achievement Award. He plans to pursue a doctorate in mathematics.

Miami is one of 19 schools nationwide eligible to nominate students for the Astronaut Scholarship, the largest monetary award given in the United States to science and engineering undergraduate students based solely on merit. This year, 17 of these scholarships were awarded to outstanding college students majoring in science, engineering or math.

“It’s appropriate and gratifying that the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation recognizes the talent in a student like Iordan,” Miami President David Hodge said. “He has demonstrated his forward-thinking research interests and proven his abilities as a serious scholar. We’re confident he’ll contribute to society in ways that match the ideals of the foundation.”

Worden, one of only 24 men to have traveled to the moon, served as Command Module pilot on the 1971 Apollo 15 mission, during which he orbited the moon with crewmates Dave Scott and Jim Irwin. He photographed 25 percent of the lunar surface with two special cameras mounted outside the ship. On the homeward journey, Worden took the farthest-out space walk, moving along hand rails on the outside of his spaceship to retrieve film cassettes from the two moon-mapping cameras. He was inducted to the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1997 and has chaired the ASF since 2005.
For more information about ASF, go to www.AstronautScholarship.org.

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