Unionville High grad achieves new heights

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Aspiring rocket scientist and USC sophomore wins astronaut  foundation’s scholarship

2011 Unionville grad Jason Silverman

2011 Unionville grad Jason Silverman has won the University of Southern California’s 2013-2014 Astronaut Scholarship Foundation award.

Jason Silverman, a 2011 graduate of Unionville High and aspiring rocket scientist, has won the University of Southern California’s 2013-2014 Astronaut Scholarship Foundation award.

Silverman, one of 28 students selected nationwide, was cited by the foundation for his “unique aptitude for research and ingenuity in science and technology, as well as an exemplary academic performance.”

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation was created  in 1984 when the six surviving Mercury 7 astronauts came together to ensure that the U.S. would maintain its leadership in science and technology by supporting some of the best science and engineering college students at selected schools.

Scholarship nominees must be engineering or natural or applied science or mathematics students with intentions to pursue research or advance their field upon completion of their final degrees, the foundation’s web site said.

Jason Silverman works in a USC  lab under bright lights that help cure the epoxy that is applied to the rocket.

Jason Silverman works in a USC lab under bright lights that help cure the epoxy used in the process.

Silverman, who proclaimed his career choice of astronautical engineering at the age of 5, was nominated by faculty, who submitted his name to a university-wide committee. That group then forwarded its best two candidates to the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Scholarship Committee for its final selection, the web site said.

Silverman said he was gratified  “that everyone’s confidence in me – the professor who nominated me and the professor who wrote a recommendation – had paid off.”

Typically, members of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, which includes astronauts, visit colleges and universities to present the scholarship recipients with their $10,000 awards during a public presentation, which is expected to occur in the fall, according to the web site. Silverman is the son of Sharon and Alan Silverman, who live in Birmingham Township.

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