The 2023-24 STudent Academic Research Review (STARR) Award Program is NOW CLOSED.
STARR is open to undergraduate students attending OSGC Community College and 4-Year Member Institutions.



The Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium (OSGC) is a member of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program (Space Grant). OSGC supports the agency’s objectives of fostering and encouraging careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and STEM education to develop a skilled, high-performing, capable, and diverse next-generation workforce. Access to experiential learning and research opportunities are crucial to enhancing a student’s academic experience in order to meet the needs of NASA and the nation. OSGC programs are directed towards undergraduate students in STEM fields and designed to complement a student’s academic career experience. In support of the national priority to increase diversity in STEM fields, women, individuals from underserved and underrepresented groups in STEM fields, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to participate in our programs.

The Oregon Space Grant STudent Academic Research Review (STARR) award program is directed towards STEM and STEM Education students attending our member community colleges and four-year universities who are interested in space science/aerospace-related careers. The STARR Program provides students an opportunity to apply for a one-year award to enhance and supplement their academic study in STEM and STEM education. These awards also serve to recognize student’s achievements in these fields. 

STARR awards are open to students in a broad range of STEM disciplines, including aerospace-related engineering and mathematics, as well as science and math education, earth sciences, chemistry, biology, food science, and computer science relating to NASA’s vision and mission. Students are encouraged to contact OSGC with questions about field of study eligibility.

Program description

STARR is a research review program and does not entail hands-on research. A research review is a deeper dive into a research topic and includes an overview, a summary, and an evaluation or critique of the current knowledge that already exists about a specific area of research. A research review may also include a discussion of methodological issues and suggestions for future research.

STARR is a stepping-stone opportunity designed to help students gain a more comprehensive understanding of the research process and be better prepared for future hands-on research opportunities such as NASA internships, Research Experience for Undergraduates (REUs), or senior capstone projects. Applicants select a topic to review that involves current NASA-related research. Selected topics must align with one or more of NASA Mission Directorate’s top priorities or speak to the challenges facing the execution of current missions. Topics should be specific and narrow in scope.

If awarded, STARR recipients will thoroughly review the existing literature/research pertaining to a selected research topic and write a white paper evaluating/critiquing the current knowledge that already exists on the selected topic. The white paper must include insight into the contributions of the research being conducted and demonstrate interdisciplinary applications of the research and how it might potentially extend to other areas of science or engineering relating to NASA’s priorities and areas of emphasis. Students will not be conducting research of any kind.

STARR recipients must identify a faculty member at their respective institution who has expertise relevant to the research being reviewed and who agrees to serve as faculty advisor on the project. The advisor must be willing to mentor the student, review/edit the student’s work, and provide guidance throughout the process; however, white papers must ultimately be the original work of the student. Selected projects and advisors must be approved by the OSGC affiliate representative from the student’s respective institution. In addition to the white paper, students attending 4-year institutions will be required to present their work at the OSGC Spring Symposium. 

See the 2023-24 STARR Program Guide for complete program information.

for more information

Direct questions to Catherine Lanier, OSGC Director, via email at [email protected] or to Meghan Megowan, OSGC Program Coordinator, via emial at [email protected].



Archived OSGC Award Programs

2022-23 STARR

Community College STARR Award Recipients:

  • Jake Bullard | Southwestern Oregon Community College | Matter and Antimatter Decays of the Kaon and B Meson Show CP Asymmetry
  • Sierra Kuhn | Linn-Benton Community College | The Balance Between the Ability for Food to be Stored for an Extended time, nutrition, and the Impact it has on Astronaut's Mental Health
  • Austyn Moon | Linn-Benton Community College | Rapid Image Processing for Astrometric Measurements with Python
  • Hunter Wyndham | Portland Community College | The Use of InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellites to Monitor Ground Deformation to Monitor Volcanoes and Predict Eruptions.
  • Kyla Zhang | Portland Community College | Reproductive Health of Men and Women in Microgravity

4 Year Institution STARR Award Recipients:

  • Rose Jardin | Portland State University | Exploring Surgical Operations for Deep Space Missions
  • Teresa Nguyen | Portland State University | Embedded Software and Digitial Signal Processing in Radiation Environments
  • Hailey Richter | Oregon State University | Gravitational Waves
  • Logan Switzer | Pacific University | Anomaly of Galaxy Rotation Curves in Relation to Recent JWST Finding


2021-22 STARR | Click here for the 2021-22 Program Guide

Community College STARR Award Recipients:

  • Jesus Ayala | Portland Community College (PCC) Cascade

  • Jacob Castigliano | Lane Community College

  • Richard Cavanaugh | PCC Cascade

  • Lena Duplechin Seymour | PCC Sylvania

  • Hunter Elwell | PCC Sylvania

  • Taia Hopkins | PCC Sylvania

  • Teresa Nguyen | PCC Southeast

  • Caleb Ostmo | Southwestern Oregon Community College

  • Kadi Smith | PCC Cascade

  • Kyla Zhang | PCC Sylvania

4 Year Institution STARR Award Recipients:

  • Sophia Crawford | Portland State University (PSU)

  • Madeline Fischer | PSU

  • Rose Jardine | PSU

  • Adrian Jimenez | PSU

  • Taylor Lohrie | PSU

  • Hayden Reinhold | PSU

  • Abigail Velasco-De Jesus | Pacific University


2020-21 STARR | Click here for the 2020-21 Program Guide

Community College STARR Award Recipients:

  • Troy Liggett | SOCC | Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG); Its Mechanisms and Applications for the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover

  • Teresa Nguyen | PCC Cascade | Introductory Technology on Liquid Fuel Engines for Aerospace and Rocketry Students

  • Ryne Shelton | PCC Southeast | Research Radar Technology and Equipment, Specifically the Satellite Used for NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Mission

4-Year Institution STARR Award Recipients:

  • Terell Cathey | OIT | Advanced Power Generation, Storage, and Transfer for Deep Space Missions

  • Emilio Gizzi | PSU | Design of a Regeneratively Cooled Liquid-Fuel Rocket Engine

  • Adrian Jimenez | PSU | Isotope Hydrology

  • David Lay | PSU | Design of Active Maximum Power Point Trackers (MPPTs) in Regards to Aerospace Grade Solar Arrays

  • Emma Levy | PSU | Analysis of the Methods and Environmental Impacts of Removing Space Debris from Low Earth Orbit

  • Alexander Mote | OSU | Studying and Improving the Simulation Systems Used in Preparing for NASA Missions, Specifically Applied to the Physical Science Research Programs

  • Jean-Pierre Pillay | PSU | High Altitude Recovery Systems for Aerospace Vehicles

  • Joseph Saxon | OIT | Space Tech Relevant to Space Debris Detection and Monitoring

  • Amber Sleeis | GFU | The Lucy Mission; the first space mission to observe and analyze the Trojan Asteroids of Jupiter

  • Catherine Spivey | PSU | Design Optimization of an Isogrid or Orthogrid Tank for Small, Low-Cost Launch Vehicles

  • Elaine Swanson | OSU | Creating an aerobic compost tea, fed through a hydroponic system, to sustain plant growth in a small, controlled environmental habitat

  • Nadia Wallace | PSU | Heart Health and Space Travel

  • Kassondra Watson | PSU | How Well Do Current Technologies Differentiate Between Main Phytoplankton Groups and How Will Differentiation Be Improved with NASA’s PACE Mission?

  • Zackary Williams | PU | Aligning a STEM Classroom to Fit NASA’s Priorities and How NASA’s Current Missions Can Be Incorporated into the Classroom; Linking Current NASA Research into Science and Mathematics Lesson Plans                                                                                                              


2019-20 OSGC Scholarship and Fellowship Program | Click here for the 2019-20 Program Guide

Click here for the list of 2019-20 award recipients

2018-19 OSGC Scholarship and Fellowship Program | Click here for the 2018-19 Program Guide

Click here for a list of the 2018-19 award recipients

2017-18 OSGC Scholarship and Fellowship Program | Click here for the 2017-18 Program Guide

Click here for the list of 2017-18 award recipients


2016-17 OSGC Scholarship and Fellowship Program | Click here for the 2016-17 Program Guide

Click here for a list of the 2016-17 award recipients


2015-16 Community College Partnership Scholarship Program | Click here for the 2015-16 Program Guide

Click here to see the list of 2015-16 award recipients


2014-15 OSGC Scholarship Program | Click here for the 2014-15 Program Guide

Click here for a list of 2014-15 award recipients


2013-14 OSGC Scholarship Program | Click here for the 2013-14 Program Guide

Click here for a list of 2013-14 Award Recipients