Alumni

Travis Altheide

Travis Altheide

Doctorate of Science
Class of 2009

Travis graduated with a Ph.D. in space and planetary science in December 2009.  He is a graduate of the Missouri Southern State University with a bachelor's degree in biology.  He is an alumnus of the space center 2004 REU program.  Travis' thesis title was, "Experimental Study of the Stability and Activity of Brines on Mars."  His mentor was Dr. Tim Kral.

Dixie Androes

Dixie Androes
 

Scott Barrows

Scott Barrows
 

Robert Beauford

Robert Beauford

 

Robert is a graduate of Southern Methodist University, where he studied archaeology and linguistics. He has pursued a lifelong interest in rocks and minerals as a researcher, collector, and artisan silversmith. Robert is the owner and principal artist at Wildsmith Corporation, a small art and jewelry gallery in Eureka Springs, AR. He is also a science writer and serves as the Co-editor of Meteorite magazine, handles the space science center's Meteorite Identification Program and curates the U. of Arkansas Meteorite collection. Robert is pursuing a PhD with a principal interest in astrogeology. His specific research focuses involve impact evidence preserved in meteorites and terrestrial meteorite impact craters.

Lisa Billingsley

Lisa Billingsley

Masters of Science
Class of 2009

Lisa graduated with a M.S. in space and planetary sciences in May 2007.  Lisa is a graduate of the University of Tulsa with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering.  Lisa's primary research interests were the use of instruments and engineering for possible use on Mars.  Her thesis title was, "The Formation of Gullies on Mars."  Lisa's mentor was Dr. Larry Roe.

David Blackburn

David Blackburn

Doctorate of Science
Class of 2011

 

William Bryan

William Bryan
 

Shelly Bursick

Shelly Bursick

Doctorate of Science
Class of 2009

Shelly graduated with a Ph.D. in space and planetary science in May 2009.  She is a graduate of Southern Oregon University with a bachelor's degree in physics.  Shelly's thesis title was, "Two Multicolor Surveys for Quasars at Redshifts Greater than 4.5."  Her mentor was Dr. Julia Kennefick.

Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson

Doctorate of Science
Class of 2008

Katie graduated with a Ph.D. in space and planetary science in December 2008.  She is a graduate of Northern Arizona University with a bachelor's degree in physics/astronomy.  Katie's thesis title was, "Experimental Study of the Stability of Volatiles on Mars."  Her mentor was Dr. Derek Sears.

Julie Chittenden

Julie Chittenden

Doctorate of Science
Class of 2007

Julie graduated with a Ph.D. in chemistry in May 2007.  She is a graduate of Arkansas State University with a bachelor's degree in chemistry.  Julie's thesis title was, "Investigation of the effect of dissolved salts, soil layers, and wind on the evaporation rate of water on Mars."  Her mentor was Dr. Derek Sears.

Ahmed El-Shafie

Ahmed El-Shafie
 

Patricia Craig

Patricia Gavin
 

Amira El Senousy

Amira El Senousy

Doctorate of Science
Class of 2015

Amira is a PhD student in the Centre of Space and Planetary Science at the University of Arkansas. She graduated from Cairo University with a bachelor's degree in Biological/ Chemistry. She entered the graduate the program in spring 2010. Her research interest is about chemistry of planetary bodies.

Kathy Gietzen

Kathy Gietzen

Doctorate of Science
Class of 2009

Kathy graduated with a Ph.D. in space and planetary science in May 2009.  She is a graduate of Southwest Missouri State University with a bachelor's degree in physics education.  She also has a Master's degree in math from SMSU.  Kathy's thesis title was, "Target Selection for Asteroid Rendezvous and Sample Return."  Her mentor was Dr. Claud Lacy.

Jennifer Hanley

Jennifer Hanley
 

Julia Heydenreich

Julia Heydenreich

Masters of Science
Class of 2016

Julia is a graduate student in the Space and Planetary Science at the University of Arkansas. She got her Bachelor of Science in Earth and Space Science with a Geology Option at the University of Washington in Spring 2014. Her research interests are with planetary geology, specifically studying fluvial geomorphology of gullies, recurring slope lineae (RSLs) and other fluvial formation features on surface of Mars. She is has been a member of S.P.A.C.E. Hogs since Fall 2014. She enjoys field work and good Mexican food.

Adam Hughes

Adam Hughes

Masters of Science
Class of 2015

Adam is a graduate of Henderson State University with a bachelor of science degree in Physics. He has has worked as an intern with the Radio Science Systems Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Adam entered the graduate program in Fall 2007. He is a member of the Arkansas Galaxy Evolution Survey at the University. His research interest are in Spiral Active Galactic Nuclei Galaxies and the Supermassive Black Holes that power them.

Mellisa Jones

Melissa Jones

Doctorate of Science
Class of 2006

Melissa graduated with a Ph.D. in space and planetary sciences in May 2006.  Melissa is a graduate of Loras College with a bachelor's degree in chemistry.  Melissa's research project focused on the investigation of surface processes on asteroids through laboratory and mission analyses and the development of sample collectors for asteroid sample return.  Her thesis title was, "Investigation of Surface Processes on Asteroids Through Laboratory & Mission Analyses."  Melissa's mentor was Dr. Derek Sears

Obadiah Kegege

Obadiah Kegege

Doctorate of Philosophy
Class of 2009

Obadiah graduated with a Ph.D. in 2009 (Interdisciplinary Research – Space and Planetary Science and Electrical Engineering).  He is a graduate of the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science in Control and Instrumentation Electronics Design (Summa Cum Laude).  He also has a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from University of Texas Pan American.  Obadiah's dissertation title was, "Design and Verification of Integrated Reconfigurable Driver and Current Sensor for Extreme Space Environments."  His dissertation director was Dr. Alan Mantooth, among an interdisciplinary committee of six mentors/professors.

Erika Kohler

Erika Kohler

Doctorate of Philosophy
Class of 2016

Erika is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor's degree in meteorology and minors in astronomy and mathematics. Erika entered the graduate program in Space and Planetary Science in Fall of 2010. Her dissertation focuses on metal condensates in planetary atmospheres, specifically looking at the source of the Venusian radar anomalies and extrasolar atmospheric chemistry. In 2013, she was a recipient of the NASA Harriet G. Jenkins graduate research fellowship and was selected as a 2014 NASA student ambassador. She also co-founded the student outreach organization, S.P.A.C.E Hogs.

Adrienn Luspay-Kuti

Adrienn Luspay-Kuti
 

Cassie Marnocha

Cassie Marnocha
 

Zach McMahon

Zach McMahon

Masters of Science
Class of 2016

Zachary was a graduate student with the Space and Planetary Sciences Department, graduating with a Masters in Science in the Fall of 2016. His advisor was Dr. Vincient Chevrier. He graduated from Texas A and M University with a Bachelors of Science in Geology in the Summer of 2013. His interests are planetary geology.

Rebecca Mickol

Rebecca_Mickol

Doctorate of Science
Class of 2017

Rebecca graduated with a PhD in Space and Planetary Science in August 2017. She was advised by Dr. Tim Kral, and her dissertation was titled “Growth and Survivability of Microorganisms at Martian Temperatures and Pressures.” Rebecca is currently conducting a postdoc at the US Naval Research Laboratory, through the American Society for Engineering Education, with Dr. Sarah Glaven. Her postdoctoral research focuses on understanding and manipulating microbial electrosynthesis and microbial electrotrophy in community and pure culture settings. Rebecca graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with bachelor’s degrees in both astrophysics and ecology and evolutionary biology. She was also an active member of the space science outreach organization, S.P.A.C.E. Hogs, since its inception at the University of Arkansas.

Shauntae Moore

Shauntae Moore

Doctorate of Science
Class of 2005

Shauntae Moore graduated with her Ph.D. in chemistry in May 2005.  The title of her thesis was, "Laboratory Studies in Planetary Science and Quantitative Analysis of Evaporation Rates Under Current Martian Conditions."  She now works as an analytical chemist at Bioengineering Resources in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Laurie Nash

Laurie Nash

Masters of Science
Class of 2006

Laurie Nash graduated with her M.S. in space and planetary sciences in May 2006.  Laurie Nash is a graduate of the State University of New York in Buffalo with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering.  She is employed at the Johnson Space Center in Houston at NASA's Mission Operations Directorate Division "Flight Design & Dynamics".  Laurie's research project focused on rendezvous dynamics.  Her thesis title was, "A survey of optical navigation techniques for autonomous rendezvous & a review of stratospheric ozone depletion studies due to rocket motor exhaust."  Laurie's mentor was Dr. Larry Roe.

Daniel Ostrowski

Daniel Ostrowski

Doctorate of Science
Class of 2010

 

Robert Pilgrim

Robert Pilgrim
 

Edgar Rivera-Valentin

Ed_Rivera_Valentin

Doctorate of Science
Class of 2012

Ed graduated with a Ph.D. in Space and Planetary Science in May 2012. His thesis title was "Modeling H2O stability and transport on Mars and Iapetus: Exploring their effects on geomorphic and atmospheric processes". Ed also holds a bachelor's degree in Physics and Mathematics from Alfred University. While at the University of Arkansas, Ed was a Doctoral Academy Fellow and attended the NASA/JPL Planetary Science Summer Seminar. After graduating, Ed worked in the Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences at Brown University for two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow before joining the science staff at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico in the Planetary Radar Science group. Ed is currently a Staff Scientist with Universities Space Research Association at the Lunar and Planetary Institute. For more information, visit Dr. Rivera-Valentín's profile

Fatemeh Sedaghatpour

Fatemeh Sedaghatpour
 
Navita Sinha

Doctorate of Science
Class of 2016

Navita is a graduate of Patna University, India, with a bachelor's and a Master's degree in Chemistry. She has spent several years teaching at junior and high schools in India before returning to University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Navita entered the graduate program in space and planetary science in Fall 2010. Her research interests include the possibility of life on other planetary bodies, such as Mars and Enceladus.

Henry Turner

Henry Turner

Doctorate of Science
Class of 2009

Henry graduated with a Ph.D. in space and planetary science in December 2009.  He is a graduate of the University of Oregon with a bachelor's degree in Geology. He also has a master's degree in Geology from the University of Arkansas.  Henry's thesis title was, "Subduction Zone Dynamics in Obliquely Convergent Margins: Examples from Nicaragua and the Northern Lesser Antilles."  His mentor was Dr. Glen Mattioli.

Felix Wasiak

Felix Waskiak

John Wooldridge

John Wooldridge

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Class of 1997

John graduated from a rural Arkansas high school in 1991 in a class of 21 students.  He received a scholarship from both the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Academy of Mechanical Engineers.  In college, he worked three 6-month cooperative education tours at the Arkansas Nuclear One in Russelleville, Arkansas, performing licensing tasks and fuel failure analuses.  John won a Porter-Stone Award for this work.

John graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1997 with a B.S.M.E. specializing in thermal and fluid system studies.  He joined Swales Aerospace as a thermal systems engineer in early 1998.  Projects worked on include EO-1, Triana, EOS Aura MLS instrument and flight operations for the HEAT payload on STS-IOS and EOS Aqua.