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04-11-2017

Clarkson University Engineering Student Receives National Space Club & Foundation Scholarship

Clarkson University student Neale Van Stralen '18 summarized his experience at the National Space Club & Foundation's 60th Annual Goddard Memorial Dinner in Washington, D.C., in one word: awe-struck.

NASA Mission Manager Michael Sarafin '94, left, and engineering student Neale Van Stralen '18 pictured at the National Space Club & Foundation's 60th Annual Goddard Memorial Dinner in Washington, D.C. Van Stralen was awarded the foundation's 2017 Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Scholarship.As the recipient of the foundation's 2017 Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Scholarship, the mechanical and aeronautical engineering major and Honors Program student from Bloomfield, N.Y., had the opportunity to network with aerospace industry leaders, including Blue Origin and Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos, Dawn chief engineer and mission director at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Marc Rayman, and former NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

NASA Mission Manager and Clarkson alumnus Michael Sarafin '94 was also in attendance at the dinner. As a member of Clarkson's first aeronautical engineering class, Sarafin said he was proud to see how far the program has come.

Van Stralen said it was an honor to meet everyone and be recognized at the ceremony as a peer in the industry as opposed to just a student doing research.

"This scholarship is recognition for the academic challenges I've put myself through, maintaining my grades and keeping up a good work ethic," he said. "Getting a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet these lead engineers and get an inside scoop on what they're doing and being able to go to the ceremony was a great opportunity."

Van Stralen said he is still considering his next move after graduation, but is interested in pursuing graduate research in the aerospace field or working at NASA one day.

The National Space Club & Foundation awards a $10,000 scholarship each year in memory of Goddard, an American rocket pioneer. The award is given to stimulate the interest of talented students in the opportunity to advance scientific knowledge through space research and exploration.

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, New York, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: NASA Mission Manager Michael Sarafin '94, left, and engineering student Neale Van Stralen '18 pictured at the National Space Club & Foundation's 60th Annual Goddard Memorial Dinner in Washington, D.C. Van Stralen was awarded the foundation's 2017 Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Scholarship.

[Photographs for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/nvanstralen-msarafin.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Kelly Chezum, VP for External Relations, at 315-268-4483 or kchezum@clarkson.edu.]

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