Eagle Earns USRA Distinguished Undergraduate Award

Members of the College of Engineering
Sarah Ketchersid, president of AIAA, is awarded the USRA fellowship/scholarship in the Lehman Building amongst her AIAA peers and members of engineering faculty on Dec. 8, 2021. (Embry-Riddle/Jack Wernet)

Sarah Ketchersid, an Aerospace Engineering student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach, was recently awarded the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) Distinguished Undergraduate Award.

Ketchersid was one of five students selected from a competitive pool of 96 applicants. The USRA Distinguished Undergraduate Awards are granted to students on the strength of their academic accomplishments and leadership skills, as well as their interest in an aerospace engineering, space research or space science education career.

To Ketchersid, who will receive a one-time $5,000 scholarship from USRA, “The award is validation for the steps I've taken in my career and academic path… Receiving this award means not only am I on the right path to reach my goals, but others recognize the work and effort I've put into my projects, academics and work.”

Dr. Tasos Lyrintzis, Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, added, “This is a very prestigious award and I believe it is the first time that an ERAU student is receiving it.”

Ketchersid hopes to one day design a spacecraft for deep space exploration. “This award will help connect me with aerospace professionals, expand my network and get my foot in the door to companies in the space industry,” she said.

In addition to serving as the president of the AIAA student chapter at Embry-Riddle, Ketchersid is the outreach coordinator for the Spacesuit Utilization of Innovative Technology Laboratory (S.U.I.T. Lab)'s Micro-g team.

Learn more about the USRA Distinguished Undergraduate Awards, including application requirements and key dates for 2022.