Logo: University of Southern California

September 10, 2012: USC Student Wins Astronaut Scholarship for Science and Engineering

Press Release
Contact: Robert Perkins - 213-740-9226 or perkinsr@usc.edu
September 10, 2012 —


WHAT: A USC senior will receive a $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation

WHO: Nishita Deka, USC Viterbi student and scholarship winner
Walt Cunningham, US Astronaut Hall of Fame inductee

WHEN: Thursday, September 13, at 5 p.m.

WHERE: Taper Hall of Humanities, room 102
3501 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA 90089

WHY: Apollo 7 astronaut Walt Cunningham will present USC student Nishita Deka with the Astronaut scholarship, the largest monetary award given in the United States to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) undergraduate college students based solely on merit.

Deka, who is majoring in electrical engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, is interested in nanotechnology and is currently investigating an alternative, more efficient method for fabricating ultra-low threshold microlaser devices that are co-doped with two rare materials, Erbium and Ytterbium.

“Nishita has demonstrated quality leadership in electrical engineering at University of Southern California,” Cunningham said. “She embodies the top characteristics of an Astronaut Scholar: intelligent, perseverant and driven to lead the path toward the advancement of scientific knowledge and technology. I’m proud to have the opportunity to present this award to such a worthy recipient at USC.”

Cunningham will share his experiences as the Lunar Module pilot on the first manned Apollo mission, Apollo 7, an 11-day Earth-orbit flight in October 1968 in addition to presenting the award. The lecture is free and open to the public. More information is available online at www.AstronautScholarship.org.

This press release is available on the USC Press Room website.