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Undergrad Researcher Receives NASA Scholarship

Cody GetteNDSU senior Cody Gette, an undergraduate research assistant at the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, has been selected for the prestigious Astronaut Scholarship Foundation scholarship for the 2010–11 academic year. The $10,000 award is one of 20 presented by the foundation. Gette is a physics and mathematics double major who was born in Devils Lake, N.D., and graduated from Starkweather, N.D., Public School. As an undergraduate research assistant at NDSU's Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, he conducts silicon solar cell research and works with high-power lasers.

“I was introduced for the first time to lasers, optics, glove box experimentation, clean room research and many instruments I had neither heard of nor knew the use of at the time,” Gette wrote in his scholarship application. “I have learned incredible amounts of new information, valuable skills and it has allowed me to apply some of the background knowledge and creativity I have gained while in school.” Gette plans to pursue a doctorate in physics, with a career in research or teaching. “I have always been asked to try to explain physics concepts to friends who do not understand and have since developed a small passion for trying to explain concepts in such a way so everyone can understand,” he wrote.

“Cody is an outstanding student and a worthy recipient of this honor,” said R.S. Krishnan, associate vice president for academic affairs. “He has been on the dean’s list often, and previously received NDSU’s Presidential Scholarship and Freshman Textbook Scholarship.”

Cody GetteOrven Swenson, associate professor of physics, wrote in a letter of nomination, “Based on my observations of hundreds of physics and engineering students, I am confident that Cody has the ‘right stuff’ to make significant research breakthroughs. His creativity, combined with his demonstrated ability, will ensure his success.”

In a letter of nomination, Alan Denton, associate professor of physics, wrote, “He is highly motivated, well organized, career oriented and seeks out new challenges—all qualities that distinguished the pioneering astronauts and that merit nurturing and special recognition.”

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation was established in 1984 by the six surviving members of America’s original Mercury astronauts. Its mission is to aid the United States in retaining leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships for college students who exhibit motivation, imagination and exceptional performance in engineering, science or mathematics. Al Worden, foundation chair and Apollo 15 astronaut, said, “These students are the future of our nation and we are proud to support them in their educational endeavors.”

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