The Heinlein Society 2021 Scholarship Winners

The Heinlein Society celebrated Robert A. Heinlein’s 114th birthday today by announcing the three winners of its 2021 Scholarship competition. The three $3,000 scholarships are awarded to undergraduate students of accredited 4-year colleges and universities.

Dr. Yoji Kondo Scholarship

Awarded to a candidate of any gender majoring in engineering, math, or biological or physical sciences, and add “Science Fiction as literature” as an eligible field of study.

  • LeAnn Rhodes

LeAnn is the Dr. Yoji Kondo Scholarship winner. LeAnn will be attending Virginia Tech as a junior in the fall, majoring in Industrial and Systems Engineering. Having previously pursued a path in Political Science, she discovered that Engineering suited her better and changed her career path, though she plans to apply her knowledge and experience in the law to her new vocation.

Dr. Jerry Pournelle Scholarship

Awarded to a candidate of any gender majoring in engineering, math, or biological or physical sciences, and add “Science Fiction as literature” as an eligible field of study.

  • Alexandra Ouimet

This year’s winner of the Dr. Jerry Pournelle Scholarship, Alexandra is majoring in Marine Science at the University of Maine, entering her junior year in the fall. She took a couple of years off between high school and college to do volunteer work with Americorps NCCC and Utah Conservation Corps, among others. During one of her volunteer stints in Hawaii she became a certified scuba diver.

Virginia Heinlein Scholarship

Dedicated to a female candidate majoring in engineering, math, or biological or physical sciences.

  • Mandisa Keswa

Mandisa wins this year’s Virginia Heinlein Scholarship – the “Ginny.” Mandisa is entering her senior year at Pomona College, majoring in Neuroscience. Her family is originally from South Africa, and her life experience has helped her to develop a keen interest in health policy and providing better access to underserved communities. She has participated in genetic engineering and hippocampal research projects and plans to continue doing research after obtaining her degree.

The Heinlein Society commented that they were surprised, despite the pandemic, to receive even more applications than the previous year — setting a new record of 383, including a record 23 international applicants. The international applicants are from eleven countries: Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Germany, India, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mexico, Mongolia and Nigeria.

In addition to the three winners, the other top 10 finalists are:

  • Alexis Kaiser
  • Audrey Lacey
  • Carver Freeburg
  • Casey Barbier
  • Jane Hancock
  • Josephine Maier
  • Nadège Oger

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