INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana University graduate student was on board the Boeing 777 that was shot down and crashed Thursday in Ukraine.
IU Associate Vice President Mark Land confirmed Friday that Karlijn Keijzer, 25, was a passenger on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. The flight was shot down over eastern Ukraine.
Keijzer was from Amsterdam and rowed for IU for one year in 2011. She earned her master's degree from IU.
Keijzer was a doctoral student in the chemistry department and was known as a dedicated researcher who focused on making the world better through science. She also taught courses in organic chemistry, biochemistry and biosynthesis.
"The plan originally was to be in the States for one year and then go back to Holland and that all changed when she came here. She just loved IU, loved Bloomington, loved the chemistry department, everything about it. So she was a Hoosier, just by Dutch nationality," a friend said.
According to IU, she helped her Varsity 8 boat team to a 14-5 record, earning Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete honors along with Academic All-Big-Ten accolades after the 2011 season.
We spoke with an IU student who said she was a freshman on the university's rowing team while Keijzer was on the varsity rowing team, and was close with many ladies that were friends with Keijzer.
Keijzer was reportedly much loved on the teams.
"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."
Rowing officials said she was a huge part of the team for the year she rowed.
"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."
Peterson said Keijzer was home in Amsterdam for the summer visiting family. He said she was on the flight with her boyfriend and another couple to head to Indonesia for vacation.
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