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ASF Scholar Sanai Rankin Students

Morgan Scholar Sarai Rankin Earns $15,000 Astronaut Scholarship

by Morgan State U
August 11, 2022

Senior Physics Major Is Third Consecutive Morgan ASF Award Recipient


For three consecutive years, Morgan has proudly produced an Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) award winner. Sarai Rankin, a senior from the School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences (SCMNS), is among a highly competitive field of 68 students from 45 universities across the nation who were awarded a $15,000 ASF scholarship for 2022.

The ASF awards the Astronaut Scholarship to exceptional juniors and seniors pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) with the intent to pursue research or otherwise advance their field upon receipt of their final degree. Rankin, a physics major, was selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants for exhibiting initiative, creativity and excellence within her elected academic course of study. As the University’s most recent awardee, she continues a tradition of excellence set by Morgan’s previous ASF scholarship recipients Mikayla Harris (in 2021) and Micaela Fleetwood (in 2020).

Sanai Rankin“I am honored to be inducted as an Astronaut Scholar with the other brilliant minds in my cohort,” said Sarai Rankin. “With their support, I will continue my research of deep space objects, and spread enthusiasm for and knowledge of Astronomy within my community. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity!”

The arduous selection process begins with nominations from Morgan professors or faculty members, upon which the awardee will receive a scholarship of up to $15,000. For Rankin, as well as Morgan’s previous Astronaut Scholars, the full $15,000 amount was awarded. Other benefits include: networking and mentoring opportunities with astronauts, alumni and industry leaders; participation in the Michael Collins Family Professional Development Program; and a paid trip to attend ASF’s Innovators Week, which provides an opportunity for the Astronaut Scholars to present their research at a technical conference which takes place during the ASF Innovators Week & Gala taking place August 24-27 in Orland, FL.

“Every year, we are blown away by the dozens of extraordinary undergraduate students who are dedicated to pursuing STEM to help create a better life here on Earth,” said Caroline Schumacher, ASF’s president and CEO. “Ultimately, we are fueling the career paths of these students, who are destined to make lasting contributions in their chosen STEM fields and become the game-changers of tomorrow.”

As a rising STEM star within the vast ranks of Astronomy, Rankin is charting her path with calculated precision. She spent the recent summer working as an undergraduate student researcher with the Center for Astrophysics, a progressive research partnership between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Harvard College Observatory. Before taking on that role, Rankin interned with Johns Hopkins University as a research student at the Cosmology Large Angular Scale Survey.

Congratulations Sarai Rankin on receiving the prestigious Astronaut Scholarship Foundation award! Your faculty and commitment to excellence in pursuit of your passion in STEM are commended. Continue to embody Morgan’s Core Values of Leadership, Integrity, Diversity, Excellence and Respect as you represent the National Treasure on the world stage!