DUBUQUE, Iowa – Loras College, Iowa’s first college, is the newest academic affiliate of the Iowa Space Grant Consortium (ISGC), a part of NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. Loras is the ISGC’s first academic affiliate since its founding in 1990. ISGC’s goal is to improve aerospace science, research, education, and outreach activities throughout the state.
“Our engineering, science, technology, and math programs already provide students an excellent education,” Dan Neebel, Ph.D., professor of engineering, said. “We are excited for the additional opportunities this membership provides for our students to apply their skills, deepen their knowledge, and engage with the larger scientific community.”
The ISGC supports aerospace research, education, and outreach activities for all Iowans through five program categories: internships, fellowships, scholarships; higher education; research infrastructure; precollege; and informal education.
For students, the affiliation means more opportunities to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to a current NASA research area or project. As an example, finding a solution to the amount of pollutants produced through runoff from agricultural practices, research regarding Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, a study on where water on Mars went, and an investigation into whether it’s possible to grow potatoes on the red planet.
They are also eligible to apply to NASA internships, fellowships, and scholarships directly through ISGC or through NASA.
For faculty, membership means they can apply for funding through ISGC competitions in higher education and research infrastructure programs. Faculty can use these opportunities to conduct applied research and develop course curriculum dealing with NASA research areas.
About Loras College
Loras College leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan colleges to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. According to the 2016 U.S. News Best Colleges rankings, Loras College was named the 13th Best Regional College: Midwest.