2019 Scholarships

Following a competitive process with many high-quality applicants, the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop has chosen three students as the recipients of our 2019 scholarships. With the support of Baen Books (who are sponsoring the Tim Bolgeo Memorial Scholarship), Rob and Ruann Hampson, and J and Beth Roye, we are awarding these deserving students one graduate scholarship ($2500) and two undergraduate scholarships ($2500 each). These scholarships were created to encourage the next generation to study science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields that support the research needed to get humanity to the stars.

Our winners are:

Lauren Oldham, our Graduate winner, and winner of the Tim Bolgeo Memorial Scholarship, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of Kentucky summa cum laude in 2014. She worked for a small company in mapping, going on to earn a Graduate Certificate in Digital Mapping in 2016. She will be pursuing a Masters in Digital Mapping at the University of Kentucky in the fall of 2019. She has been working with Women in Engineering to encourage local high school girls in STEM fields. Her winning essay can be read here.

Alex Tharpe, one of our undergraduate winners, lives in Dyersburg, TN, with his family and two dogs, and has been very involved with his local community. He will be attending Tennessee Tech University this fall, majoring in Engineering, possibly going into Mechanical or Chemical Engineering. He is considering a possible career with the military (Air Force) or an aerospace organization. His winning essay can be read here.

Tatiana Cheves, our other undergraduate winner, is an undergraduate from St. Petersburg, Florida, and will be attending Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, in the fall. She has taken classes from St. Petersburg College in Seminole, FL for the past few years, and plans to major in Biology and Environmental Studies. She is a member of Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math; as a member, she mentors underclasswomen in STEM careers and programs. Her winning essay can be read here.

The $2,500 scholarships this year included the Tim Bolgeo Memorial Scholarship, supported by Baen Books, as well as scholarships sponsored by Rob and Ruann Hampson, and J and Beth Roye. The scholarships are merit-based, and require all applicants to complete an essay with their application forms. The deadline for all applications was May 15, 2019.

“The Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop was created to foster and assist the study, research and experimentation necessary to make human interstellar travel a reality, with untold benefits to life on Earth,” said TVIW President Emeritus John Preston. “We can imagine no better way to demonstrate that goal than the creation of these scholarships, helping new generations of thinkers, builders and explorers to set their sights on the stars.”

Applicants for the undergraduate scholarships must be high school seniors in the southeast United States (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia) who plan to pursue their first undergraduate degree in a STEM related field at any accredited, four-year American college or university. Applicants for the graduate scholarship must be full-time college or university students majoring in a STEM related field, and seeking a graduate degree in science from an accredited college or university in the United States.

NOTE: Applications for the 2019 Scholarships have now closed. Application Materials are provided for reference information only.


We thank all of the students who apply for one of these scholarships. Please consider following TVIW as we help make interstellar missions possible for a future generation to go to the stars!

Connect with TVIW organizers and participants via social media:

Web: https://irg.space

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InterstellarResearchGroup

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tviwus

YouTube: http://youtube.com/tviw