IU Student Among Dead In Malaysian Airlines Flight 17
By Mike Perleberg
(Bloomington, Ind.) – There is an Indiana connection to the tragedy of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine.
One of the victims was a 25-year-old doctoral student at Indiana University and a former member of the women’s rowing team.
Karlin Keijzer was an Amsterdam native who had gone home for a brief vacation from her pursuit of a doctorate in chemistry. She was scheduled to take classes in Bloomington this Fall.
IU President, Michael McRobbie called her an outstanding student and a talented athlete and said her passing is a loss to the campus and the university.
“On behalf of the entire Indiana University community, I want to express my deepest sympathies to Karlijn’s family and friends over her tragic death,” McRobbie said.
Keijzer’s professors called her a bright star in the IU constellation and a diligent researcher.
“She was a kind, happy young woman full of ideas about the future. She inspired us all with her optimism about how science will make Earth a better place,” said her doctoral advisor, Mu-Hyun Baik, associate professor of chemistry and informatics.
As an athlete, Keijzer participated with the Varsity 8 womens rowing team for IU in 2011, a season in which the Hoosiers compiled a 14-5 record. A talented rower in the Netherlands, she was recruited to row at IU even though she had only one year of eligibility.
“Karlijn was the ‘stroke’ of the Varsity 8 boat for us,” said coach Stever Peterson. “That is the person who sets the rhythm for the boat and everyone follows her. She was unquestionably the leader of the best boat we had that year. It was the first boat that got us into the national rankings and had a great season. It also helped propel our program towards the success that we had this past season, and we all know that we can trace it back to that boat that was led by Karlijn.”
Meanwhile, the Pentagon is pushing for an immediate ceasefire in the region of Ukraine where the Malaysia Airlines jet crashed Thursday. Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby remarked that it’s the only way to guarantee the safety of inspectors and recover the bodies of nearly 300 people who died in the tragedy.
Kirby said the best evidence seems to show that the jet was shot down by a surface-to-air missile.