Mithi “Mia” de los Reyes ’16, a senior majoring in physics and mathematics at North Carolina State University, has been awarded a 2016 Churchill Scholarship.
The Raleigh native will use the scholarship – which covers all university and college fees, cost-of-living expenses, travel to and from the United Kingdom and other reimbursement of application fees – to pursue a one-year master’s degree in astronomy from the University of Cambridge beginning in fall 2016.
De los Reyes is NC State’s first Churchill Scholar and one of 15 recipients of the award this year. A little more than 100 U.S. institutions are invited to submit up to two applicants for the Churchill Scholarship. De los Reyes was nominated by NC State’s UK Campus Committee, which handles nominations for United Kingdom-based scholarships, including the Rhodes, Churchill, Marshall and Mitchell scholarships.
A 2012 graduate of the North Carolina School of Science and Math, de los Reyes received NC State’s most prestigious merit scholarship – the Park Scholarship. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Pi Sigma academic honor societies. She previously won the Goldwater Scholarship and the Astronaut Scholarship.
De los Reyes served a summer intern at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland in both 2014 and 2015. She also served as a summer research assistant at the Space Telescope Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University in 2013, where she studied galaxy evolution and formation and was first author of a paper published in The Astronomical Journal.
De los Reyes co-founded the Serious About Math and Science Club, which provides mini-workshops to high school students on topics not usually covered by high school curricula. She has made numerous oral and poster presentations on her research. She also volunteers her time as event leader with North Carolina’s Science Olympiad. In her free time, she enjoys hip-hop dance and rock climbing.
After her time at Cambridge, de los Reyes plans to get her Ph.D. in astronomy and to obtain a research position at a national institute or an observatory.
The Churchill Scholarship provides funding to American students for a year of master’s study in science, mathematics, and engineering at the University of Cambridge, based at Churchill College. The scholarship was set up at the request of Sir Winston Churchill in order to fulfill his vision of U.S.-U.K. scientific exchange with the goal of advancing science and technology on both sides of the Atlantic, helping to ensure our future prosperity and security. It is administered by the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States.
This article was originally published by NC State News.