Diversity in science matters to breakthroughs. When more scientists with varied backgrounds and experiences fill laboratories and collaborate on teams, outcomes in innovation and discovery surpass those of less diverse scientific groups, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH)….
Jordan Barrett, Astronaut Scholar
An undergraduate in the College of Arts and Sciences is now one of only 17 Syracuse University students who can call themselves an Astronaut Scholar.
Jordan Barrett ’18, a rising senior studying physics and mathematics, has just been named a 2017-2018 recipient of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation’s (ASF) award.
Barrett worked with the Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising (CFSA) to prepare his Astronaut Scholar application. CFSA helps undergraduates, graduate students and alumni explore nationally competitive scholarship opportunities and assists them through all stages of the application process.
Originally created by the Mercury 7 astronauts, the ASF is a nonprofit organization backed by more than 100 of America’s space pioneers from Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs. The organization’s mission is to provide scholarships and support to the brightest students in the country pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as the STEM disciplines.
As a part of this honor, Barrett will receive a $10,000 scholarship, mentoring by a scholar alumni or astronaut, an opportunity to participate in a professional development program sponsored by RBC Capital Markets and membership in the Astronaut Scholar Honor Society.
This year’s class of 45 Astronaut Scholars will receive their awards at the inaugural Innovators Gala featuring the Neil Armstrong™ Award of Excellence. The celebration will be held in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 16.
Barrett, a native of South Paris, Maine, has already made a measurable impact at Syracuse University, having just been awarded a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship this spring.
The Renée Crown University Honors student is also working toward his senior capstone project in mathematics, while remaining active as an officer in both the Phi Mu Epsilon Mathematics honor Society and the Society of Physics Students.
“To have my name added to a relatively short list of exemplary astronaut scholars is a tremendous honor. This is an affirmation that I choose the correct academic path and it is extremely encouraging to think that my work might actually effect positive change someday,” explains Barrett.
His latest accolade is no surprise to his faculty mentors, who enthusiastically nominated him for the elite recognition.
“Jordan is a truly outstanding student and one of the best undergraduate students I have worked with at Syracuse University,” wrote associate professor of mathematics, Stephan Wehrli to the nomination committee. “I am certain he has a bright future ahead of him.”
Jay Hubisz, associate professor of physics shared those sentiments in his own glowing recommendation.
“Jordan continuously challenges himself,” boasts Hubisz. “He remains heavily engaged in his research at Syracuse, and is pursuing classwork that will put him well above his peers when he begins his graduate work.”
Upon graduation next fall, Barrett has his sights on extending his academic career on to a Ph.D. in mathematical physics, and eventually becoming a professor and research scientist. But for now he is spending time reflecting on this time in the College of Arts and Sciences and looks forward to another incredible year.