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.

ELIJAH DORAN

 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 LOCKLEDGE

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 CUENCA

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 SANCHEZ

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.

 

NICHOLAS TORRES 

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 CHRISTOPHER CORDOVA

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.

 

 

 

 

NRAO Director Tony Beasley Appointed to New Five-Year Term

 

Dr. Tony Beasley, Director of the National Science Foundation’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), has been appointed to a new five-year term. The Board of Trustees for AUI— which operates NRAO under a cooperative agreement— and the NRAO Director Review Committee conducted a thorough review of Beasley’s leadership and performance earlier this year, and have appointed the Director to the new term through May 2027.

 

“Tony is an outstanding leader and stalwart champion for NRAO, the field of radio astronomy, the beauty of science, and the critical role of big facilities in the R&D ecosystem,” said Adam Cohen, President and CEO of AUI, which operates NRAO under a cooperative agreement. “He continues to support very innovative education and outreach programs to help build the workforce of the future, as well as programs and activities to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplaces.” 

 

Over the course of more than two decades, Beasley’s leadership has shaped the present and future of NRAO’s leading-edge radio astronomy facilities, including the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), and Very Large Array (VLA). More recently, he has collaborated on efforts to encourage cooperation between commercial spectrum users and research facilities and has created partnerships to explore the use of Green Bank Observatory’s radar systems in planetary science and defense applications. 

 

Beasley recently has generated significant support for the future of NRAO’s facilities, reaching major milestones in 2021. The observatory’s proposed next generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) received high priority for new ground-based observatories in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey (Astro2020). Late last year, NRAO’s Central Development Laboratory (CDL) received approval and funding through the ambitious ALMA2030 Development Plan to upgrade its Band 6 receivers, which are ALMA’s most productive receivers. 

 

An ardent supporter of diversity, equity, and inclusion in astronomy and astrophysics, Beasley has elevated the efforts of NRAO’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Broader Impacts, and community development initiatives, including the National Astronomy Consortium (NAC), RADIAL, National and International Non-traditional Exchange (NINE), Research Experiences for Undergraduate students (REU), and most recently, grants for women in engineering fellowships and the development of a next generation Learning Center (ngLC). 

 

“Being a part of NRAO for more than 20 years has given me the opportunity to observe, contribute to, and lead growth and change in astronomy that positively impacts our facilities and allows us to collaborate with other like-minded institutions,” said Beasley. “I am proud of the work our teams have accomplished in research, engineering, outreach, and equity, and look forward to serving the NRAO community for another five years.”

 

Beasley, who holds a Doctorate in Astrophysics from the University of Sydney, was first appointed as NRAO Director in February 2012, after previously serving the observatory and the radio astronomy community in multiple capacities. He joined NRAO as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 1991 and served as Deputy Assistant Director in 1997 and Assistant Director from 1998 to 2000. He briefly left NRAO that year to become Project Manager for the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA). In 2004, he returned to NRAO as Assistant Director, as well as Project Manager for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. From 2008 to 2012, Beasley served as the Chief Operating Officer and Project Manager of NSF’s National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). In addition to his role as NRAO Director, Beasley presently serves as the AUI Vice President for Radio Astronomy Operations. 

 

In January 2022, Beasley was honored as a Lifetime Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in recognition of his significant contributions to the field of radio astronomy. 

 

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