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2022 AUI Scholarship Recipients

Recent News

Can Astronomers Use Radar to Spot a Cataclysmic Asteroid?

A new instrument concept from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) called the next generation RADAR (ngRADAR) system will use the National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope (GBT) and other current and future facilities to support planetary defense efforts.

2022 AUI Scholarship Recipients

Below are the six recipients of the 2022 AUI Scholarship conducted by International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. These students will each receive an award of $3,500 per year to aid in defraying expenses at the college or university of their choice.


 Eli is a senior at Fairview High School in Boulder, Colorado, where he participates in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. This past semester he achieved a 4.6 GPA in his IB science classes and has an overall GPA of 4.0. Eli has been accepted into the University of Pittsburg’s undergraduate neuroscience program. He is a member of Fairview’s Science National Honor Society, through which he’s had the opportunity to help others as a science tutor. Through the honor society he’s also participated in STEM Pals, a program that pairs high school students with younger kids to work on STEM projects.

Eli is an experienced ice hockey player, having played in competitive leagues since he was very young. He currently plays as a forward on the varsity team for Centaurus High School, located in Lafayette, Colorado. In addition to academics and sports, Eli is an avid classical guitarist.

As an undergraduate, Eli hopes to participate in faculty research and lay the foundation for graduate work in neuroscience focused on the neural underpinnings of pain, addiction, and human behavior. Eli is the oldest son of Kevin Doran and Elizabeth Russell in Boulder, Colorado.



Casey is a senior at Western Albemarle High School. For the past two years she has been the assistant director and set designer for the school’s drama department, working on shows such as “Mamma Mia” and “Little Women”, and will be directing Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” this spring. She has been part of the WAHS choir for four years and also sings with Wacappella. The summer before her senior year Casey attended the Carnegie Mellon Pre-College program for Theatre Design and Production. She is also an award winning filmmaker, having most recently won the jury prize at the Virginia Film Festival’s Adrenaline Film Project, and has been named to the 2021-2022 cohort of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Charlottesville Rising Stars Program. She has supplemented her education with courses through the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Lighthouse Studio, and the American Shakespeare Center. To support her arts habits, she has her own Etsy shop where she sells her paintings, prints, and accepts commissions. In her spare time, Casey enjoys painting and watching theatre. She plans to study Studio Art and Theatrical Design at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts.

Casey is the daughter of Laura Lockledge, Assistant Director of Observatory Budgets, in Charlottesville.



Daniel is a senior at Albemarle High School, and holds a GPA of 3.73. Daniel was a former member of both the cross country, and track & field team during his first 3 years of high school. Now in his senior year, Daniel is working on an average of 20 hours each week at a job and is able to maintain good work ethic in managing both work and school. Daniel will attend Piedmont Virginia Community College this upcoming fall. He intends to pursue an engineering degree, with also wanting to go more in depth into the field of psychology and philosophy as his extracurricular/elective classes. He has gained a big passion in wanting to learn more about life around him, and wanting to gain knowledge. With gaining the engineering degree, Daniel plans to work with big projects, and with people all around in his desire to help all those he can with his hard work ethic, and wanting to go on out and make change.

Daniel is the son of Jose J. Cuenca, and Emma Cuenca. Jose Cuenca has the position of Sr. Buyer at NRAO, and is currently working in Charlottesville.



Magdalene is a senior at New Mexico School for the Arts, an arts-focused charter school in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she holds a 4.0 GPA. Maggie’s passion has always been the visual arts. Her specialty is painting, and her works have been featured in numerous juried exhibitions in the past two years. She was chosen for SITE Santa Fe’s Generate internship program, where selected youth throughout Santa Fe design and present a public arts program. She has also interned at Socorro Picture Framing, creating unique and custom frames for a variety of projects.

Maggie’s other interests and talents have varied widely. She learned guitar in 6th grade and played in numerous musical events at the Magdalena Schools. In 2017, she took part in an underwater robotics program at Magdalena Middle School; she and her classmate won the county and state competitions and participated in the national competition in Atlanta. She also entered numerous Science Fairs and earned a silver medal in the New Mexico Science Fair for a project on how certain foods affect blood glucose. She was on the Magdalena High cheer squad from 2018 to 2020 and went to numerous state competitions with her teammates. Maggie also volunteered in her church Youth Group for several years and went on two mission trips to help with community projects for underserved children and adults in the U.S.

Maggie will attend Moore College of Art & Design this fall in Philadelphia, PA, where she plans to pursue Bachelor’s Degrees in Fine Arts and Art Education. She is grateful to accept Moore’s Visionary Woman Honors Scholarship in addition to the AUI scholarship. Maggie is the daughter of Anna Lear, former Documentation Specialist with the NRAO in Socorro, and Antonio Sanchez, who lives in Easton, MD. Her stepfather is Wes Grammer, Senior Engineer in Socorro, who has worked at all four NRAO sites since 1994.



Nick has been home schooled for the last four years with Pecos Connection Academy. He is maintaining a 3.74 GPA. Nick’s hobbies include hiking in the different canyons around Socorro, competition shooting, and watching movies. Nick has also spent a few years in Civil Air Patrol (CAP), where he learned leadership skills. While participating in CAP, he earned the rank of Cadet Tech Sargent.

Nicholas’s parents are dad and stepmom Michael & Diana Torres, and mom and stepdad Heather & Mike Worley. Nicks dad is a Senior Supplies and Materials Coordinator, and his stepmom is a Compliance Recordkeeping Specialist at NRAO.

Nick plans to attend Central New Mexico Community College to pursue a degree in Social Work. He is passionate about being an advocate for those with special needs such as autism because he was diagnosed with autism at a young age. Knowing the challenges and hardships that people with special needs go through on a daily basis gives him a better insight of how to help and to be the advocate they would need.



Logan is a senior at the Albuquerque Institute of Mathematics and Science. He grew up playing video games and dreamed of making video games for a living. Logan’s interests changed in high school when he was introduced to finances through his financial literacy course. Logan has been taking dual credit courses at Central New Mexico Community College and the University of New Mexico throughout high school; Logan plans to attend UNM for college. He plans to major in Finance with a minor in Computer Science. He has learned how to do python and use a raspberry pi to automate tasks through his dual credit courses. He has also taken Microeconomics and macroeconomics at UNM.

Logan is the son of Juan Cordova and Susan Tappen. Juan is a Data Analyst at NRAO in Socorro.



Recent News

NAC Student Researchers Receive Prestigious Chambliss Medals at AAS 243

Miguel Montalvo and Nicolas (Nico) McMahon, student researchers from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s National Astronomy Consortium (NAC) program, were each awarded the prestigious Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Awards medal for exemplary research in astrophysics.

Can Astronomers Use Radar to Spot a Cataclysmic Asteroid?

A new instrument concept from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) called the next generation RADAR (ngRADAR) system will use the National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope (GBT) and other current and future facilities to support planetary defense efforts.