2021 Astronaut Scholar Nominees

Texas A&M Undergraduates Cosmas Kravaris ‘22, Annabel Perry ‘22, Ryan Rahman ‘22 and Kevin Yao ‘23 have been nominated for the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation’s 2021 Astronaut Scholarship. 

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) seeks to support the brightest scholars in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) while commemorating the legacy of America’s pioneering astronauts. The ASF has supported undergraduate students across the nation in pursuing their education for more than 30 years. The Astronaut Scholarship is the largest and one of the most significant merit-based scholarships in STEM fields that can be awarded to an undergraduate. Students must be nominated by faculty based on achievements in their chosen field. Out of a select pool of 42 Universities who are invited to nominate their best and brightest, ASF typically chooses one recipient from each school. However, Texas A&M undergraduate students have proved themselves to be incredibly strong candidates and ASF has awarded multiple scholarships to our students in a single year. 

Texas A&M University has had 32 honorees since the scholarship was established in 1984 by the surviving Mercury 7 astronauts. More than 100 astronauts have contributed to the cause, resulting in over $4 million in scholarships. 

The LAUNCH office wishes all four of the 2021 nominees all the best while final selections are being made.

Cosmas Kravaris ’22

Cosmas Kravaris ‘22 is a junior earning two undergraduate degrees in applied mathematics and statistics, as well as a masters in mathematics (through the fast track program). Since his freshman year, he has been taking graduate courses and conducting research under Dr Rostislav Grigorchuk. His research focuses on group theory, the mathematical study of symmetry, and its interactions with combinatorics, spectral theory and dynamics. Currently, he works on three different projects with one publication under revision and one preprint publication. He plans on getting a Ph.D in mathematics and pursuing a career as a university professor.

Annabel Perry ’22

Annabel Perry ‘22 is a biology major with minors in neuroscience and philosophy from Milford, Texas. Annabel is a University Scholar, a University Honors student, and works as a bioinformatician in the Rosenthal Lab in the Department of Biology. She plans to earn her Ph.D. to study the evolution of psychiatric disorders as a professor in a research university. Outside of science, she enjoys acting, playing guitar, and reading. She would like to thank Dr. Heath Blackmon and Dr. Gil Rosenthal for their indispensable advice, inspiration, and support. She hopes to one day pay forward their mentorship to students of her own.

Ryan Rahman ’22

Ryan Rahman ‘22 is a biology major with a double minor in neuroscience and bioinformatics. Originally from Lubbock, Texas, Ryan has earned various honors during his time at Texas A&M such as the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and the Beckman Scholarship, which are national funding sources for intensive research. His current research focuses on achieving a greater understanding of how human immune cells eliminate pathogens to develop novel therapeutics for tuberculosis. Outside the lab, Ryan served as the President of the Texas A&M American Medical Student Association and Co-Chair of the Biology Honors Advisory Council. He also enjoys singing with Texas A&M Swaram A Cappella (check out their latest album: “Defy”) and playing tennis in his free time. Ryan is passionate about lifelong learning and hopes to earn an M.D./Ph.D to facilitate his long-term goal of integrating research and medicine to have a lasting impact on patients.

Kevin Yao ’23

Kevin Yao ‘23 is a Brown Scholar pursuing computer science/computer engineering with the ultimate goal of attending the TAMU Enmed program for medical school. He currently does research at Houston Methodist with Dr. Stephen Wong and Dr. Kelvin Wong on developing a mobile app to examine patients for strokes. He also developed machine learning algorithms to detect subtle signs of stroke based on the movement of pupils, asymmetry of the face, and dexterity of limb movements. He has submitted this work to be presented at the 2021 Computer-Human Interaction Conference as the primary author. He also is working with Baylor College of Medicine under Dr. Chao Cheng on computational approaches to develop biomarkers for cancer, where he has published one paper and is preparing two more for publication. In high school, Kevin participated in a nano-materials research lab, where he published two papers as the primary author and two as the second author, and is also a recipient of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and the Davidson Fellowship. In his spare time, he likes to work out, play basketball or tennis, and dance. He aims to earn a M.D. and a Ph.D. in computer engineering and work as a researcher and practitioner to develop biomedical apps or devices.