Texas A&M University seniors Cosmas Kravaris ’22 and Ryan Rahman ’22 have been selected to receive $10,000 scholarships from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF).
Earlier this month, Kravaris and Rahman were announced as members of the 2021 Astronaut Scholars class, which includes 60 students from 44 different partnering universities across the nation, including Texas A&M. Kravaris is pursuing dual bachelor’s degrees in applied mathematics and statistics while simultaneously earning his masters in mathematics through one of two College of Science Fast-Track Programs, while Rahman is a pre-medical student majoring in biology with additional double minors in neuroscience and bioinformatics. Each earned selection based on their demonstrated initiative, creativity and excellence in undergraduate research and academics in their fields as well as their potential to become leaders in their scientific and professional pursuits.
Texas A&M Astronaut Scholars typically are presented with their awards as part of a fall campus ceremony featuring former astronauts and co-sponsored by Texas A&M LAUNCH along with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. In addition to a scholarship and membership in the Astronaut Scholar Honor Society, award winners are given the opportunity to present at the Scholar Technical Conference and attend the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation’s Innovators Week & Gala as well as engage in lifelong professional development and mentoring programs with astronauts and Astronaut Scholar alumni.
“We at LAUNCH are thrilled to see two of Texas A&M’s finest and most creative undergraduate researchers chosen for the prestigious Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Scholarship this year,” said Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Studies and LAUNCH Executive Director Dr. Sumana Datta, who coordinates the award nomination process. “Well done, Cosmas and Ryan! We look forward to seeing what you accomplish next.”
Kravaris, who is from College Station, has been taking graduate courses and conducting research with University Distinguished Professor of Mathematics Dr Rostislav Grigorchuk in the Department of Mathematics since enrolling at Texas A&M in fall 2018. His research focuses on group theory, the mathematical study of symmetry, and its interactions with combinatorics, spectral theory and dynamics. Currently, Kravaris works on three different projects that already have resulted in one publication under revision and one preprint publication. After getting his Ph.D. in mathematics, he plans to pursue a career as a university professor.
Rahman, who grew up in Lubbock, was recognized earlier this year as a 2021 Goldwater Scholar after being named a 2019-20 Beckman Scholar as a sophomore. His current research as a member of University Distinguished Professor of Biology Dr. Richard Gomer’s Laboratory in the Texas A&M Department of Biology, focuses on achieving a greater understanding of how human immune cells eliminate pathogens to develop novel therapeutics for tuberculosis. Outside the lab, Rahman served as president of the Texas A&M American Medical Student Association and co-chair of the Biology Honors Advisory Council. In his free time, he enjoys singing with Texas A&M Swaram A Cappella and playing tennis. He is passionate about lifelong learning and hopes to earn an M.D./Ph.D. to facilitate his long-term goal of integrating research and medicine to have a lasting impact on patients.
For more than 35 years, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation has identified and supported the best and brightest undergraduate students pursuing educations in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields across the nation. The Astronaut Scholarship is known for being among the most significant merit-based scholarships awarded to undergraduate STEM students. Candidates must be nominated by faculty of the participating universities based on their display of initiative, creativity and excellence in their chosen field.
Since the scholarship’s inception in 1986, Texas A&M has had 35 honorees, including 13 from the College of Science: Kravaris and Rahman (2021); Johnathan Lo (molecular and cell biology/statistics, 2020); Oscar Gonzalez (chemistry, 2019); Ashley Hayden (biology, 2018); Brooke Versaw (chemistry, 2017); Kristin Maulding and Will Linz (molecular and cell biology and applied mathematics, 2015); David Rahmani (physics, 2009); Susan Koons (applied mathematics/psychology, 2008); Justin Wilson (mathematics/physics, 2005 and 2006); Benjamin Aurispa (mathematics, 2004); and John Stewart (physics/mathematics, 2001).
The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation was established in 1984 by the six surviving Mercury 7 astronauts to aid the United States in retaining world leadership in the development of cutting edge science and technology. Today, more than 100 astronauts from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs have joined in the mission, resulting in more than $5 million in scholarships to more than 600 of the nation’s top scholars as well as technological innovations across the healthcare, energy, defense, aerospace and homeland security sectors.
For more information on the Astronaut Scholarship and other national and international awards recognizing student academic achievement, please see the National Fellowships section of the LAUNCH website.
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