Valparaiso University receives funding for space grant projects • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
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Valparaiso University receives funding for space grant projects

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Valparaiso University was awarded Indiana Space Grant Consortium funding for six projects.

The projects were proposed by the university’s professors. The funding totals $102,520.

“These grants support our core mission of developing leaders in research because they provide our faculty and students the opportunity to perform impactful experiences in NASA-related research areas,” said Eric Johnson, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, in a press release.

The funding will primarily go toward stipends for student researchers. Many students who participate in Indiana Space Grant Consortium grants go on to graduate school.

Several of the projects also include students from Ivy Tech Community College. All participating students will receive experience in real-world research methods and lab work. Many will have the opportunity to have their names attached to published materials. 

One project will investigate the effects of microgravity and light-night cycles on the development of brain structures that maintain body balance and circadian cycles. 

Several projects include studying fungus and the impact of environmental factors on fungus. The studies were eligible for space grant funding due to the potential impact harmful fungus could have in the International Space Station. 

One project working, in part, toward keeping astronauts healthy examines the antibacterial properties of plants used in indigenous and folk healing practices.

Another project focuses on researching infrared light emanating from space that suggests the possibility of gaseous molecules among the stars.

Student researchers will represent a variety of disciplines at the university.

Valparaiso University serves about 3,000. The school has 70 undergraduate programs and offers over 30 advanced degrees and certificates. Valparaiso University was founded in 1859.

The Indiana Space Grant Consortium is part of the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. The consortium works to carry out education and research related to space, aeronautics, aviation and Earth science. It consists of 26 affiliates in Indiana, including colleges, universities, businesses and other institutions.

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