U of M Medical School Undergraduate Researchers Awarded Prestigious Astronaut Scholarship

Juniors Madelyn Blake and Ronin Cosiquien, both undergraduate researchers at the U of M Medical School and on the Pre-Med track, received the competitive Astronaut Scholarship for students in STEM

Medical School undergraduate researchers Madelyn Blake and Ronin Cosiquien are recipients of the Astronaut Scholarship, awarded by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) to college juniors and seniors pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Both Blake and Cosiquien are juniors on the Pre-Med track.

All students considered are nominated by professors or faculty members at an ASF-partnering university. Scholarship recipients have networking and mentoring opportunities with astronauts, alumni and industry leaders; participate in the Michael Collins Family Professional Development Program; and receive a paid trip to attend ASF’s Innovators Week & Gala, where they have the opportunity to present their research.

Although the competitive award is intended for juniors and seniors, Blake was first chosen as a sophomore and says she is thrilled to be selected for a second year.

“Coming from an underrepresented, low-income background, I will never be able to fully express my gratitude for all the benefits the scholarship has afforded me,” she says. “More than anything, I am grateful to be part of such an invigorating community of scholars that truly embody the immense potential for the future of science innovation.” 

Blake is a research assistant in the Prins lab with Dr. Kurt Prins, as well as a biostatistics research assistant for the Medical School and Minnesota Department of Health. Cosiquien is a researcher assistant with Dr. Jonathan Sembrano at the Medical School and with Dr. Igor Dumic at the Mayo Clinic in Eau Claire, WI. 

Cosiquien is particularly interested in health equity, pursuing minors in Spanish and public health.

“I’m interested in the intersection of medicine, genetic technology, public health and global health equity,” he states.

For both students, the scholarship is a huge honor, and allows them to pursue their dreams of being physicians and researchers. Congratulations Madelyn and Ronin!