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Dirk Auman in the lab; the image on the monitor shows an Arabidopsis plant cell undergoing meiosis, a specialized cell division that produces gamete (sperm and ovules).
Dirk Auman in the lab; the image on the monitor shows an Arabidopsis plant cell undergoing meiosis, a specialized cell division that produces gamete (sperm and ovules). Photo: Scott Kissell
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Miami senior awarded $10,000 Astronaut Scholarship

Dirk Auman

Dirk Auman

Miami University senior Dirk Auman, a biochemistry and engineering physics double major and computer science minor from Reynoldsburg, has been awarded an Astronaut Scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). He is one of 28 students nationwide to be selected for the $10,000 scholarship by ASF for the 2013-2014 academic year.

The scholarship is presented to top science and engineering students who have shown initiative, creativity and excellence in their chosen field, according to ASF. Astronaut Scholarship recipients are engineering, natural or applied science or mathematics students who have intentions to pursue research or advance their field upon completion of their final degrees.

Auman has been conducting independent study research since his first semester at Miami with Chris Makaroff, associate dean of the College of Arts and Science and professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

He is involved with Makaroff’s research on the isolation and characterization of genes required for meiosis in the plant Arabidopsis (member of the mustard family).

“Dirk is the type of student that faculty love to have in lab,” Makaroff said. “He is very bright, hard working, very independent and an excellent experimentalist.”

The Astronaut Scholarship tops Auman’s list of honors received while at Miami, which include being named a 2012 Goldwater Scholar Honorable Mention and a 2012-2013 Beckman Scholar, with a scholarship valued at $19,300.

“At Miami, faculty members strive to be outstanding teacher-scholars. Dirk is an excellent example of a student-scholar,” said Michael Crowder, chair and professor of chemistry and biochemistry. “He demonstrate(s) outstanding ownership of his project. He (understands) the rationale behind his experiments and can explain how his research fits with the "bigger picture."

“Dirk has plans to go to earn a Ph.D. in biochemistry and have a career in research. I have no doubt that he will be successful in this regard,” Makaroff said. “He has the intelligence, skills and work ethic to be a successful independent scientist.”

Auman is a member of the university honors program and is involved in the Miami athletic bands, the Miami Chemical Society and the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society.

Astronaut Scholars
Astronaut Scholars must be nominated by a faculty member, entering their junior or senior year at one of the 27 schools the foundation supports, and demonstrate excellence in research and academics. Miami is one of the 27 schools eligible to nominate a student for the Astronaut Scholarship.

ASF was founded in 1984 by the six surviving members of America’s original Mercury astronauts. Since then, more than 80 other astronauts have lent their support to the program. Its mission is to aid the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships for college students who exhibit motivation, imagination and exceptional performance in the science or engineering field of their major.

A member of the Astronaut Hall of Fame will visit campus in the fall semester to give a public lecture and present Auman with the scholarship check.

Written by Susan Miekle, University News and Communications, meiklesb@MiamiOh.edu

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  • Luxembourg
    Luxembourg

    John E. Dolibois European Center, Luxembourg

    One of Miami's oldest continuous study abroad programs, the Miami University John E. Dolibois Center (MUDEC) in Luxembourg offers students the opportunity to enroll in Miami classes taught by European-based and Ohio-based Miami faculty. Students enjoy a unique combination of first-class academics, engagement in the local community, and various faculty-guided and independent travel opportunities.

    Contact and emergency information for the Luxembourg Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    Château de Differdange
    1, Impasse du Château
    L-4524 Differdange
    Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
    luxembourg@MiamiOH.edu
    MiamiOH.edu/luxembourg

    217-222 MacMillan Hall
    531 E. Spring Street
    Oxford, Ohio 45056, USA

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    Main Operator: 011-352-582222-1
    Oxford-based Coordinator: 513-529-5050
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • West Chester
    West Chester

    Voice of America Learning Center

    Located midway between Cincinnati and Dayton along I-75, the Voice of America Learning Center (VOALC) offers undergraduate and graduate courses and programs drawn from Miami's Regional and Oxford campuses. Home to Miami's MBA program, the Learning Center provides ready access to graduate programs for area educators and courses leading to the BIS degree for undergraduates.

    Contact and emergency information for the Voice of America Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    7847 VOA Park Dr.
    (Corner of VOA Park Dr. and Cox Rd.)
    West Chester, OH 45069
     
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  • Middletown
    Middletown

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    Nestled on 141 acres near I-75, Miami University Middletown offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Nearby Greentree Health Science Academy immerses Miami's nursing and health information technology students in the health care experience while taking classes.

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     4200 N. University Blvd.
    Middletown, OH 45042
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  • Hamilton
    Hamilton

    Hamilton Regional Campus

    A compact, friendly, commuter campus, Miami Hamilton offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Small class sizes, on-site child care, and flexible scheduling make Miami Hamilton attractive to students at all stages of life and career.

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    1601 University Blvd.
    Hamilton, OH 45011
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    Main Operator: 513-785-3000
    Office of Admission: 513-785-3111
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  • Oxford
    Oxford

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    Nationally recognized as one of the most outstanding undergraduate institutions, Miami University is a public university located in Oxford, Ohio. With a student body of 16,000, Miami effectively combines a wide range of strong academic programs with faculty who love to teach and the personal attention ordinarily found only at much smaller institutions.

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    501 E. High St.
    Oxford, OH 45056

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    Main Operator: 513-529-1809
    Office of Admission: 513-529-2531
    Vine Hotline: 513-529-6400
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