Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Award

A student looking into a microscope in a lab.

The University of Rochester’s pool of qualified undergraduate students makes selection for the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Award highly competitive.

Astronaut Scholarship Foundation logo.The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) Awards—also known as “Astronaut Scholarships”—are awarded annually to undergraduate students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) majors who are nominated in their sophomore or junior year by their college or university. In addition to high academic achievement, competitive applicants demonstrate passion and talent for scientific work along with a strong commitment to pursue research or technological advancements in their field following graduation.

The award includes scholarship funding for each honoree as well as opportunities to expand their professional network to include astronauts, alumni, and industry leaders.

ASF was created in 1984 by, among others, the six surviving Mercury 7 astronauts and Betty Grissom, widow of the seventh astronaut, Virgil (Gus) Grissom. The foundation’s mission is to ensure the United States remains a global leader in science and technology.

The University of Rochester’s deep pool of potential applicants and the limit of two nominations per institution makes selection for this award highly competitive. Learn more about the Astronaut Scholarship and other fellowship, scholarship, and award opportunities available to Rochester students.

Recent Astronaut Scholar

Congratulations to the most recent Astronaut Scholar from the University of Rochester!

Headshot of Maggie Hoare.

Margaret (“Maggie”) Hoare ’24
Area of study: Biochemistry (BS)
Minor: Philosophy

Hoare is from Honeoye Falls, New York, outside of Rochester. She’s one of 68 students selected from 46 different universities across the United States. Hoare has worked in the Ghaemmaghami Group since February 2022 and has been a teaching assistant for biology and chemistry courses and labs. She received a Schwartz Discover Grant in spring 2022 for full-time summer research, is a Beckman Scholar, and was recently awarded the University’s Catherine Block Memorial Fund Prize, given to an exceptional woman in the junior class for outstanding ability and achievement in the field of science.

She has also served as a math and science tutor for Rochester Central School District students since fall 2022.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized as an Astronaut Scholar and welcomed into a community full of scientists that share my passion for discovery,” Hoare says. “This scholarship will provide financial support and guidance from an innovative group of scholars as I complete my degree in biochemistry. Moreover, the lifelong mentorship and community provided through the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation will be instrumental in my pursuit of a PhD and a future research career.”

She plans to earn her PhD with a focus on proteomics to elucidate mechanisms to slow aging and enhance treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.

In addition to scholarship funds, Hoare will receive an all-expense paid trip to Orlando for the Innovators Gala; an opportunity to present her research at the Scholar Technical Conference; mentoring by a scholar alumni, executive, or astronaut; the chance to participate in the Michael Collins Family Professional Development Program; and membership in the Astronaut Scholar Honor Society.

Past Astronaut Scholars

2022-23 Scholar

Loren Cardani ’23
Area of study: Biochemistry (BS)
Minors: Chemistry and Latin American studies

2021-22 Scholar

Madison Lang ’22
Area of study: Biomedical engineering (BS)
Minors: Psychology and mechanical engineering

2020–21 Scholar

Caroline Cardinale ’21
Area of study: Mechanical engineering (BS)

2019–20 Scholar

Daniel Krajovic ’20
Area of study: Chemical engineering (BS)

2018–19 Scholar

Audrey Goldfarb ’19
Area of study: Biology (BA) 
Minor: Journalism

2016–17 and 2017–18 Scholar

Mollie Eva A. Hansen ’18
Area of study: Biomedical engineering (BS)

Scholar 2014–15 and 2015–16

William E. Green ’16
Area of study: Mechanical engineering (BS)

2012–13 and 2013–14 Scholar

Vincent E. Yu ’14
Areas of study: Physics and astronomy (BS) and math (BA)
Minor:Philosophy of science

2010–11 and 2011–12 Scholar

Halley J. Orshan’12
Areas of study: Computer science (BS), math (BA), and computer science (MS)
Minor: Linguistics