Indiana University student aboard downed Malaysia Airlines fligh - KCTV5

Indiana University student aboard downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17

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Karlijn Keijzer (Source: Indiana University) Karlijn Keijzer (Source: Indiana University)
Karlijn Keijzer (Source: Facebook) Karlijn Keijzer (Source: Facebook)

BLOOMINGTON, IN (WAVE) - Officials with Indiana University have confirmed that an IU student was aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 when it was shot down over Ukraine on July 17.

Karlijn Keijzer, 25, was a doctoral chemistry student and a member of the 2011 women's rowing team at IU.

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"Oh behalf of the entire Indiana University community, I want to express my deepest sympathies to Karlijn's family and friends over her tragic death," said IU President Michael A. McRobbie. "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 9 boat during the 2011 season, helping them to a 14-5 record. She earned Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete honors as well as Academic All-Big Ten accolades following the 2011 season.

[RELATED NEWS: U.S. official says Malaysia Airlines flight shot down]

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.”

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Keijzer's doctoral advisor, Mu-Hyun Baik, an associate professor of chemistry and informatics at IU said, "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 all of us with her optimism about how science will make Earth a better place."

Baik said Keijz worked on a number of human health-related research projects, and at the time of her death, she was working on an anti-cancer drug and a promising drug candidate for treating Alzheimer's disease.

[RELATED NEWS: 1 American dead in Malaysia Airlines crash, Obama calls for cease fire]

"We are devastated and mourn the loss of a brilliant, beloved member of IU's chemistry family," Baik said.

U.S. forces say a surface-to-air missile shot down flight MH17, presumably killing all 298 people on board. The plane crashed near the Ukrainian city of Donetsk, a stronghold for pro-Russian forces.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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