Kent State student awarded space scholarship

Shelbi Jones

Prior to beginning her freshman year at Kent State, Chelsea Atkins knew what she wanted to do. The Detroit native had her heart set on becoming an aeronautics major with a focus in air traffic control.

Atkins, now a junior aeronautics major, is the most recent recipient of the Ohio Space Grant Consortium Junior Scholarship.

Atkins is president of Kent State’s chapter of Women in Aviation, an organization for women in aeronautics-focused majors. She is also an active member of Alpha Eta Rho, a co-ed aviation fraternity recently reinstated on Kent State’s campus. Fellow students are proud to see someone in their program excelling.

“It was cool to hear that Chelsea was awarded the scholarship. She definitely deserves it,” Dan Hines, a junior aeronautics major, said.

The scholarship is available to any STEM undergraduate student who majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The scholarship is worth $3,000 for the academic year and is renewable. To apply, students are required to send an application, personal statement, two letters of recommendation, transcripts and a plan for a research program. Atkins is the third recipient of the scholarship from Kent State.

Members of Kent State’s College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology recommended Atkins for this scholarship. Atkins said the college’s faculty has helped her succeed in the aeronautics program.

Richmond Nettey, associate dean for the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology, said Atkins’ success doesn’t come as a surprise.

“She is highly motivated and determined to do well,” said Nettey, “especially in this male-dominated field of study.”

Atkins completed a research project as a part of her scholarship application. She chose to research Next Gen, a program that improves communication between pilots and air traffic controllers. Atkins decided to continue with her research, studying places where this program is already implemented, and she plans to analyze these results and the future of the program itself.

After graduating from Kent State’s aeronautics program, Atkins hopes to move to the Chicago area and manage a tower.

Atkins said between her mentors at school and her mother, who climbed the corporate ladder, starting as a nurse and eventually becoming a CEO, she has plenty of motivation to succeed.

Atkins plans to continue her success and make enough money in the future to make sure her mom has the best retirement possible.

Contact Shelbi Jones at [email protected].