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Physics and Astronomy major wins Astronaut Scholarship

Aliza Beverage
Aliza Beverage

Aliza Beverage, a junior studying the origin of stars with Professor Robert Gehrz, has been named a 2018 Astronaut Scholar. The scholarship provides $10,000 for a year of study for sophomores and juniors pursuing a research-oriented career.

Beverage has been studying with Gerhz since the summer before she entered the University of Minnesota. The Physics and Astrophysics major began conducting research with Professor Robert Gehrz on transient and variable stars using the University’s telescope at Mount Lemmon, Arizona. Following her first year, she worked with a team at Louisiana State University to develop a quantum noise filter for the LIGO gravitational wave detector, which confirmed her interest in projects that analyze and interpret astronomical data. This led her to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics where she spent last summer studying 102 colliding galaxies and modeling their energy distribution to understand properties of star formation. This year Aliza has been conducting related research on star formation with Professor Claudia Scarlata and this summer she will conduct an independent project using data from the Hubble telescope at the Niels Bohr Center in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In addition to her research, Aliza founded the University of Minnesota Astronomy club and has raised funds to send students to observatories in Arizona. She is also an officer of the Society of Physics Students, a member of Women in Science and Engineering and was a member of the women’s rowing team. She is a Bentson Family Scholar and an IB diploma graduate of Robbinsdale Cooper High School.

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