Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
Jennifer Harris Trosper, captain of the 1989 volleyball team which compiled a 29-4 record and competed in the Division 3 NCAA tournament, will to be inducted into the Verizon Academic All-America Hall of Fame, the first MIT graduate so honored.
Ms. Trosper, now a project systems engineer for the Mars Exploration Rover mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., earned four varsity letters in volleyball and one in softball during her MIT career. She was a member of Alpha Chi Omega.
After receiving the SB in aeronautics and astronautics in 1990, she continued her volleyball career on a club team at CalTech while she attended graduate school at the University of Southern California. She also has coached high school volleyball while at USC. Clearly, volleyball is still an important part of her life.
"I play in a lot of grass doubles tournaments," said Ms. Trosper, who started playing the game in junior high school in rural Fostoria, Ohio. She also plays on the beach for fun and in pick-up games at her church. "I wish I had more time to play seriously," she said. "Pick-up games aren't real volleyball."
Ms. Trosper's husband, an Air Force test pilot, prefers riding a bicycle to volleyball. "We've worked that out," said Ms. Trosper, who joins Capt. Randy Trosper on bicycle excursions.
The Trospers will travel to New York for the Hall of Fame ceremonies at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel Tuesday. She will join four other inductees: Lynn Norenberg Barry, the College of William & Mary's leading basketball scorer who is now a special advisor to the Women's National Basketball Association; Cris Collingsworth, an All-American receiver at the University of Florida who played in the National Football League for nine years and is now a TV analyst; John R. Hall, retired CEO of Ashland Inc. who was a four-year starter on Vanderbilt University's football team; and Dr. Gary Hall, a swimmer at the University of Indiana who was a pioneer in laser eye surgery, and who will be named an honorary member because swimming was not part of the Academic All-America program in the early 1970s when he was an undergraduate.
Verizon and the College Sports Information Directors of America established the Hall of Fame in 1988 to honor former college student-athletes who have excelled professionally and contributed to their communities. The four new inductees bring to 68 the number of former student-athletes honored.