Aerospace senior is first Auburn student to earn Astronaut Scholarship

By Sylvia Masango

Published: Oct 17, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Aerospace engineering senior Mike Wietstruk is the first Auburn University student to be a recipient of the merit-based scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. Aerospace engineering senior Mike Wietstruk is the first Auburn University student to be a recipient of the merit-based scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

Aerospace engineering senior Mike Wietstruk is the first Auburn University student to be a recipient of the merit-based scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation and was one of 50 students from 36 different universities across the nation to be awarded. 

Along with receiving the prestigious award, he also became a member of the Astronaut Scholar Honor Society. 

“I felt honored when I was selected for the scholarship,” Wietstruk said. “It's given me the opportunity to connect with student researchers from around the country in various fields and provided me with access to an amazing mentorship and career support program. By leveraging the opportunities ASF provides for scholars, my research can reach a more diverse audience within the scientific community.” 

The Astronaut Scholarships are awarded to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students in their junior or senior year of college who intend on advancing their field or continuing their research upon completion of their degree. 

“This is an honor for Auburn University as only 36 of the top research institutions are selected to be part of the Astronaut Scholarship program,” said Brian Thurow, chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering. 

This year’s scholarship recipients were honored at the 2018 Innovators Gala, which was held on Aug. 25, 2018 in Washington D.C.  

Created in 1984, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation was founded by six of the surviving Mercury 7 astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Walter Schirra, Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton. Other foundation members include Betty Grissom, widow of Virgil “Gus” Grissom, the seventh Mercury astronaut; William Douglas, Mercury flight surgeon; and Henri Landwirth, friend and Orlando businessman. The founders’ mission was to guarantee that, for decades to come, the United States would be the global leader in technology. 

Media Contact: Austin Phillips, austinp@auburn.edu, 334-844-2444

Recent Headlines