KU student Audrey Rips-Goodwin awarded Astronaut Scholarship two years in a row

LAWRENCE — Audrey Rips-Goodwin, an Overland Park senior in chemistry and mathematics, is the University of Kansas’ 2024 Astronaut Scholar — an award of up to $15,000. Rips-Goodwin was also named an Astronaut Scholar in 2023.

Audrey Rips-Godwin
Audrey Rips-Goodwin

“The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation has provided me with support and guidance for my academic and research endeavors. I am extremely honored to be awarded the Astronaut Scholarship and grateful to be a part of such an amazing community,” said Rips-Goodwin.

The Astronaut Scholarship was founded in 1984 by the six surviving members among the seven astronauts who were part of the Mercury program as a means to encourage students to pursue scientific endeavors. Astronauts from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs have also joined the foundation.

This year the foundation awarded 71 scholarships to students from 48 universities across the nation. In August, Rips-Goodwin will attend the Innovators Symposium & Gala in Houston, where she will network with other scholars and be recognized by the foundation. Students interested in applying for the award in future years should contact the Office of Fellowships by email.

Rips-Goodwin is the daughter of Cheryl Rips and Stanley Goodwin and is a graduate of Blue Valley Southwest High School. After completing her undergraduate degrees, she plans to pursue a doctorate in computational neuroscience to study addiction and obesity.

After transferring to KU from the University of South Carolina in 2022, she joined Tera Fazzino’s lab and determined the accuracy of reported energy content of hyper-palatable foods, combining her research interests in both chemistry and psychology, leading to two presentations. In 2022, she was named a Kansas Idea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence program scholar to conduct independent research.

In summer 2023, Rips-Goodwin participated in a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates in the Department of Mathematics at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, where she worked on sensitivity analysis of agent-based models, or ABMs.

At KU, Rips-Goodwin founded and serves as the president of the Pop-Science Book Club and previously was a student ambassador for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. She was also named a Bricker ChemScholar and is a recipient of the Frances H. Gayetta Lensor Scholarship awarded to an exceptional female student majoring in chemistry, the Steve and Susan Snyder Chemistry Award, and the Joan Kirkham/May Landis Scholarship from the Department of Mathematics. In spring 2023, she was a teaching assistant for Engineering Physics II taught by Sarah LeGresley Rush. Outside of research and academics, Rips-Goodwin serves as a weekend volunteer at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Tue, 06/25/2024


Erin Wolfram

Media Contacts

Erin Wolfram

Office of Fellowships