Brevard Residents Named Outstanding Junior and Senior

MELBOURNE, FLA.—At Florida Tech’s annual Honors Convocation, Edward Schwieterman of Viera was named Outstanding Junior and Kelsey McGinnis of Melbourne was named Outstanding Senior. They were chosen by a faculty committee from among the Outstanding Junior and Senior awardees within each academic area.

Schwieterman, an astronomy/astrophysics major, graduated from Rockledge High School in 2006. He has conducted undergraduate research under Florida Tech Assistant Professor Niescja Turner, studying geomagnetic storms and magnetospheric physics. He also has been a volunteer coach for the Brevard County Collaborative High School Science Bowl Team the past two years. Additionally, he is a member of the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and a part-time sales associate at That Science Store in Viera.

He was accepted for a summer 2008 internship with the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA). With his mentor, Florida Tech Professor Matt Wood, he will observe cataclysmic variable stars using the university’s new Ortega 0.8-m Telescope, the largest research telescope in Florida.

McGinnis, a senior and civil engineering major, has a 4.0 grade point average. She was a valedictorian of her graduating class at Satellite Beach High School in 2005.

Among her honors are the Bright Futures Florida Academic Scholars Award and the Florida Tech Trustee Scholarship, both for 2005-2009. McGinnis’ college professional memberships, past and present, include the Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society, Chi Epsilon National Civil Engineering Honor Society and Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society. A member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, she participated in her department’s regional concrete canoe competition this year, helping her team to second place. She has also been assistant director of the College Players in Harmony and participated in campus intramural flag football and co-ed softball.

Located in Melbourne, Fla., the university was founded in 1958 to train professionals working in the space program at what is now Kennedy Space Center. It is the only independent, technological university in the Southeast.

It was also named a Barron’s Guide “Best Buy” in College Education, is listed among America’s best colleges in U.S. News & World Report, is among the top Southeastern colleges according to Princeton Review Rating and was rated a top private university in Florida by the Washington Monthly College Ranking. More information is available at

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