Kristen Shafer, of Vestal, N.Y., a chemistry major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, is the 2013 recipient of the Patricia Hilliard Robertson Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is given on an annual basis to an outstanding female science student at IUP.
Robertson, of Homer City, was a 1985 biology graduate of IUP and a medical doctor and pilot who completed the astronaut candidate program.
Before she died from injuries suffered in a plane crash in 2001, Robertson was serving as a support astronaut for crew members aboard the International Space Station.
The scholarship presentation was made during the annual Women in Mathematics, Science and Technology program of the IUP College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
Shafer, daughter of Jeff and Laura Shafer, is a 2010 graduate of Vestal High School.
At IUP, she is a junior in the Robert E. Cook Honors College, president of the Alpha Chi Sigma chemistry fraternity, and vice president of the American Chemical Society. She is also a member of the American Medical Student Association and the IUP Marching Band.
A dean’s list student and provost scholar, she has received the CRC Handbook Academic Achievement Award and a Chemistry Academic Excellence Award from IUP. She is also a supplemental instruction leader for the Chemistry 102 class.
Shafer initiated the “Chemistry Magic Show,” an outreach activity of the chemistry student associations to make science more accessible to grade school children. During this academic year, the students have presented seven shows to area schools.
She is currently conducting research with IUP chemistry faculty member John Ford on the derivatization of cellodextrins.