2020 Scholarships

Following a competitive process with many high-quality applicants, the Interstellar Research Group has chosen three students as the recipients of our 2020 scholarships. With the support of Baen Books (who sponsor the Tim Bolgeo Memorial Scholarship), Rob and Ruann Hampson, and Jay 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:

Hayden Morgan, our graduate-level winner, and winner of the Tim Bolgeo Memorial Scholarship, earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 2019. He participated in the Midwest Hyperloop group which competed in the 2019 SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition, as well as serving as a mentor to high school students in designing, fabricating, and testing robots capable of completing complex tasks.  He is pursuing a MS in Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University. His winning essay can be read here.

Our first undergraduate winner, Isabel Collins, comes from New Orleans, LA, and will be attending The University of the South in the fall, majoring in Biochemistry. In high school, she was very involved several service organizations, as well as the National Honors Society, and she took first place in the Biology AP competition.  Summer internships at Ochsner Medical Center and Tulane Medical School have led her to pursue a career in research. Her winning essay can be read here.

Evelyn Johnson, our second undergraduate winner, is an undergraduate at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. She took classes from West Georgia Technical College (dual enrollment program) and plans a double major in History and Biology with a minor in Chemistry. She plans to attend Mercer Medical School for her M.D., to serve the rural areas in her community, to dedicate her studies to the betterment of public health in this country. Her winning essay can be read here.

The $2,500 scholarships this year included the Tim Bolgeo Memorial Scholarship, supported by Baen Books, and our other sponsors Rob and Ru Ann Hampson, and Jay 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, 2020.

“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 (now IRG) 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 2020 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 IRG as we help make interstellar missions possible for a future generation to go to the stars!

Connect with IRG 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