Welcome to the third issue of the Graduate School's Alumni Newsletter. In this edition of the Newsletter, we showcase two outstanding graduate students seeking to solve societal problems through complex research. Both students, John Beieler and Matthew Shorey, were featured in the Beaver Stadium Pictorial – otherwise known as the football game day magazine– and a special announcement was made during the game on October 22, acknowledging their outstanding research efforts, as well as those of all graduate students at Penn State.
What if you could predict when a civil war would break out in a country? Or, what if there was a way to reverse the nerve damage associated with traumatic brain injury? Two graduate students at Penn State are doing extraordinary research to solve these problems that impact our global society.
For more than a decade, Jay Kovacs, an alumnus of the Graduate School at Penn State, has managed and collaborated with engineers and scientists on the development of earth-observing spacecraft, deep space missions to investigate scientific theories about the universe, and scientific missions to study the moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Pluto, and the Sun. He has been recognized by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) numerous times for individual and team achievement. But until the day when he crossed paths with a tour bus at NASA’s Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston, he never fully considered the scope of his impact on society.