Justin DeSha-Overcash Summer Research Award

The Justin DeSha-Overcash Summer Research Award is awarded to an out-of-state undergraduate student majoring in Astronomy, Physics, or Geology to enable them to conduct research at UMD during the summer. Eligible candidates must qualify for financial need based on FASFA and demonstrate a service component to the community. Selection is made by a committee drawn from the three departments. Awards vary between $1000-$5000 depending on funding availability.

The award honors the memory of Justin DeSha-Overcash, who passed away on January 11, 2011, at the age of 22 (obituary, news story). Justin was a Astronomy/Physics double major with a minor in Geophysics. He performed research on the Earth's core-mantle boundary and presented a first-author report on this work at the 2010 fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. As an out-of-state student, Justin felt the enormous burden of high tuition but worked as many as four jobs during the semester to pay his way through school. Justin worked at the University’s observatory, served as a teaching assistant, and tutored Maryland student-athletes. Contributors to the award's funding include Justin's friends, relatives, and faculty mentors.