UW-Sheboygan Student Receives Space Grant Scholarship


THE UW-SHEBOYGAN ROCKSAT Team includes (left to right) William Dirienzo (UW-Sheboygan Astronomy professor), Sara Kroneck, Bob Aloisi, Robert Grady, Ryan Kisiolek, Josh Janezick (kneeling-front), (not pictured) Martha Steffen, Ian Fahres, and Guy Campbell (UW-Platteville engineering professor). – Submitted photo THE UW-SHEBOYGAN ROCKSAT Team includes (left to right) William Dirienzo (UW-Sheboygan Astronomy professor), Sara Kroneck, Bob Aloisi, Robert Grady, Ryan Kisiolek, Josh Janezick (kneeling-front), (not pictured) Martha Steffen, Ian Fahres, and Guy Campbell (UW-Platteville engineering professor). – Submitted photo Ryan Kisiolek, a non-traditional age student who spent 12 years in contracting prior to enrolling at UW-Sheboygan last year, has been awarded a $2,000 scholarship from the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC).

The funding, according to WSGC, was provided through a NASA Grant and involved a “highly competitive” award selection process that engaged a statewide pool of applicants. Kisiolek plans to major in microbiology with a chemistry minor and is grateful to WSGC, noting that “the grant will allow me the opportunity to remain fully engaged in my studies. These programs are a wonderful way to get students involved in aerospace sciences, and bring cutting edge academic pursuits to our community.”

Kisiolek will travel with other students from UW-Sheboygan to Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia in 2017. They will be participating in RockSat-C, which involves designing and building a sounding rocket payload, which will be launched on a rocket at Wallops. They have also designed an experiment to test the effects of rocket flight on DNA. Last summer, Kisiolek, along with Astronomy Professor Dr. William Direnzio, participated in a week long rocket building project at Wallops. According to WSGC, the Collegiate Rocket Competition is intended to “supply teams of affiliated university students with the opportunity to demonstrate engineering and design skills through direct application. It allows the teams to conceive, design, fabricate and compete with high powered rockets.” In 2016, almost 70 teams from across the U.S. came together at the former naval base to build a rocket payload from a box of parts in three days. That experience which Kisiolek describes as a “beautiful chance to get your hands dirty, make mistakes, fix them, learn from them, and move forward,” provided the impetus for Kisiolek to find additional funding so that more students could become involved. Kisiolek serves as President of Student Government, which also provided funding for the team.

According to Kisiolek, “the opportunity for our two-year college to participate in an academic program at a national level is an amazing chance.” In addition to the scholarship, Kisiolek is invited to attend the 27th annual Wisconsin Space Conference being held at UW-LaCrosse next August.


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