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Skylab astronaut Gerald Carr to speak at Syracuse University and present Astronaut Scholars Award
Veteran Skylab Astronaut Gerald P. Carr will present the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation’s (ASF) 2010-11 scholarship award to Syracuse University senior Nathaniel J. Miska during a public lecture on Friday, Sept. 17, at 3 p.m. in the Life Sciences Complex, room 105. Miska is among 20 students nationwide to receive the prestigious award.
Carr will share his experiences on America’s first space station, Skylab 4, including the four space walks he made while he and his crew spent what was then a record 84 days in space. The lecture is free and open to the public.
“It is an incredible honor to be presenting Nathaniel with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Award,” says Carr. “His dedication to the field of biochemistry is commendable. He is a leader at Syracuse and he will go on to be a leader for the United States as technology becomes more globalized in the future.”
The $10,000 Astronaut Scholarship is presented to top science and engineering students who exhibit exceptional performance, initiative and creativity in their field, as well as intellectual daring and a genuine desire to positively change the world around them.
Miska, a biochemistry major in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences, is a member of the Reneé Crown University Honors Program, is a 2010 MIT Amgen Scholar, and participated in the College’s 2009 International Research Experience for Undergraduates (iREU) in Graz, Austria. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience applied to pathology and immunology.
Miska does undergraduate research on nanomaterials in the laboratory of Mathew Maye, assistant professor of chemistry and recipient of a 2009 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Miska’s projects have included synthesizing nanomaterials using a new process developed in Maye’s lab involving novel chemistry and high temperatures; and attaching soft materials, such as DNA and other biological materials, to the nanoparticles. The soft material causes the particles to both stick together (self assemble) and seek out and attach to other kinds of molecules.
Miska’s Amgen Scholarship enabled him to spend nine weeks last summer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the laboratory of Kimberly Hamad-Schifferli, the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biological Engineering, who specializes in creating nanoparticles that mimic biological processes.
Carr commanded Skylab 4 (Nov. 16, 1973 to Feb. 8, 1974), the final manned flight of the Skylab space station. By flight’s end, Carr and his flight crew circled the globe 1,214 times, traveled 34.5 million miles and brought back 1,718 pounds of film, data and biomedical specimens for scientific study.
Carr joined the U.S. Navy in 1949. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Southern California, he was commissioned and attended the U.S. Marine Corps Officers’ Basic School in Quantico, Va. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Princeton University. He retired from the Marine Corps as a colonel in 1975 and from NASA in 1977. He currently is president of CAMUS, Inc., a Huntsville, Ark. firm providing consultation on human potential.
The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation is a nonprofit organization established by the Mercury Astronauts in 1984. Its goal is to aid the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships for exceptional college students pursuing degrees in these fields. Today, more than 80 astronauts from the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Space Shuttle and Space Station programs have joined in this educational endeavor.