Grad Story #8


Grad Story #8


Vishnu Reddy PhD 

Earth System Science & Policy


"Why UND? I always wanted to do astronomy and solar system science. The way it worked was asteroids and I did that in India and wanted to pursue that further as an education. I found out that there were a lot of people discovering asteroids but there were very few studying what they are made of. There are 2 places in the world I could go to do this, MIT and UND. And UND was the first to give me a scholarship.

UND has several advantages…While the program is rigorous, there's less pressure than at a place like MIT or Harvard, so you can grow on your own. Secondly, there are a lot more opportunities to learn. My advisor Mike Gaffey is one of the top people in the field for what I work in."

"Students should also take advantage of the Scholarly Forum. I would insist all grad students present their research as a poster or a talk. I always take advantage of any opportunity to talk about my research, especially with the public."

While a graduate student at UND, Vishnu had the honor of naming an asteroid that he had discovered after years of monitoring and research. He named the asteroid "North Dakota" making it one just a handful of asteroids named after a State in the US.

More recently he was awarded the Pellas Ryder Award from the Meteoritical Society and the Planetary Sciences Division of the Geological Society of America for the best student paper published in 2009.

"Graduate students need to realize that they need to do something they absolutely love. I always tell people not to compromise on their topic or area of expertise because this is your one opportunity to thrive. You have to be disciplined."


Susan Caraher


The Graduate School






Susan Caraher, “Grad Story #8,” Grad Stories, accessed September 22, 2018,