Former IU rower was on Malaysia Flight 17

Former Indiana rower Karlijn Keijzer died when Malaysia Flight 17 was shot down in the Ukraine on Thursday. All 298 passengers on board passed away.

Former Indiana University rower Karlijn Keijzer was one of the 298 passengers killed on board Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, which was shot down Thursday in the Ukraine.

Keijzer rowed for the Hoosiers in the 2010-11 season after coming to the university as a graduate student in chemistry. Keijzer, a native of Amsterdam, Netherlands, was 25 years old.

The flight was heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, but was shot down by a missile near Hrabove in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, about 25 miles from the Ukraine-Russia border. There were 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board, all of whom perished in the crash.

Indiana sent out a release about Keijzer and the crash, which you can read below.

Indiana University mourns the passing of student-athlete Karlijn Keijzer

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana University has learned that Karlijn Keijzer, a doctoral student in the chemistry department in the IU College of Arts and Sciences, was among the passengers on Malaysia Air Flight 17, which crashed Thursday, July 17, leaving no survivors. Keijzer, 25, also earned her master’s degree from IU and was a member of the women’s rowing team during the 2011 season.

“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,” Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie said. “Karlijn was an outstanding student and a talented athlete, and her passing is a loss to the campus and the university. Our hearts also go out to the families of all the victims of this senseless act.”

Keijzer was a member of IU’s Varsity 8 boat during the 2011 season, helping them to a 14-5 record. She earned Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Scholar-Athlete honors as well as Academic All-Big Ten accolades following the 2011 season. A decorated junior rower, Keijzer participated in the European Rowing Junior Championships in 2006 and the World Rowing Junior Championships in 2007.

“The Indiana Rowing family is deeply saddened by the news of Karlijn’s sudden passing,” Indiana head rowing coach Steve Peterson said. “She came to us for one year as a graduate student and truly wanted to pursue rowing. That year was the first year we really started to make a mark with the First Varsity 8 boat and she was a huge reason for it. She was a phenomenal student and loved IU so much that she stayed here after she earned her master’s degree. Our condolences go out to her family and friends in this very tough time.”

FROM MU-HYUN BAIK, associate professor of chemistry and informatics and Karlijn Keijzer’s doctoral advisor:

“Karlijn was a bright, talented doctoral student, a diligent researcher and a dear friend to all of us who worked with her in our research group. 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.

“Ms. Keijzer worked on several research projects, all related to improving human health. The last piece of research work she completed before heading out to catch her flight to her short summer vacation was preparing a computer simulation on bryostatin, an anti-cancer drug and a promising drug candidate for treating Alzheimer’s disease.

“We are devastated and mourn the loss of a brilliant, beloved member of IU’s chemistry family.”


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