Students who arrived in early June to participate in student programs included, front row from left, Julianna Plumb, Stephanie Reynolds, Courtney Marietta, Melissa Barnett, Erika Fedorko, Elina Cruz, Gregory Morales, Ronalynn Ramos, Cheyenne Bolanos, Christopher Ramirez, Alexander Cleveland, Derrik Yabut and Jessica Alvarenga. In the back row, from left, are Javier Gonzales-Rocha, Sanel Horozovic, William Martin, Alex Tongue, Anthony Popelar, Neil Dhingra, Kimberly Callan, Steffi Valkov, Hector Gutierrez, Jonathan Tivald, Kevin Wagner, David Brunell, Daniel Power, Zachary Goff and Francisco Pena. (NASA Photo / Tom Tschida) › View Larger Image
Applying What They've Learned: Students Chosen for Work Experience Programs
If it seems like there are a lot of new faces at Dryden this month, it's because there are. About 90 students in 11 programs are gaining valuable work experience this summer while learning to apply the theories to the practice of their specialties. Students are listed under the program in which they participated.
- The Achieving Competence in Computing, Engineering and Space Science, or ACCESS, program is designed for undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities who have strong backgrounds in science and are pursuing technical careers. William Martin represents the program at Dryden this summer.
- The Aeronautics Academy offers college students opportunities for intense training in aeronautics that includes research, leadership development, and broad exposure to the nation's aeronautics enterprise. Eight students are participating in this program including Luis Andrade, Kimberly Callan, Javier Gonzales-Rocha, Julianna Plumb, Stephanie Reynolds, Ronalynn Ramos, Steffi Valkov and Joseph Wagster.
- The Aerospace Education Research and Operations, or AERO, Institute awards internships to students for work assignments at Dryden that are made based on the needs of the center's branches or requirements of award funding sources, such as the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. AERO Associates are those chosen for specific jobs, while AERO Scholars are students participating in work assignments as part of a scholarship they have been awarded.
This year's AERO Associates include Maria Blue, Leo Banuelos, David Brunell, Alexander Cleveland, Elina Cruz, Braxton Cullors, Erika Fedorko, Hector Gutierrez, Julie Labadie, Michael Luong, Anthony Macpherson, Courtney Marietta, Daniel Power, Jonathan Tivald, Alex Tongue, Kevin Wagner, Kaitlin Wright and Derrik Yabut. The four AERO Scholars are Melissa Barnett, Elizabeth D'Arienzo, Zachary Goff and Sanel Horozovic.
- Four people are participating in the Curriculum Improvements Partnership Award for the Integration of Research at Dryden. The program is structured to assist two- and four-year minority serving institutions to strengthen science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, and technical programs.
Funding is used to integrate project management methodology to add real world experiences with theoretical knowledge to enhance STEM and technical classes. The aim is to increase the number of underrepresented and underserved students who attain degrees in science, technology engineering and mathematics. Selected for this program were Cheyenne Bolanos, James Boyd, Christopher Ramirez, Kiara Sgantas and Earl Smith.
- The Cooperative Education program, or the Student Career Experience program, integrates college-level academic study with work experience at a NASA center. Students are eligible for permanent employment after successfully completing their education and meeting work requirements.
Students working at Dryden this summer are Sarah Renee Arnac, Casie Clark, Paul Dees, Michael Dorval, Jian Feng, Dan Frecka, Jason Gaume, Victor Gandarillas, Stephen LaPointe, Tyler Latsha, Justin McCarthy, Jason Nelson, Ethan Nieman, Ashley Prueitt, Jeff Requist, Michael Staab, Jenny Staggs, Alexander Stuber, Samuel Sullivan, Seth Trey, Sampson Truong and Tameka Williams.
- Anthony Popelar is a recipient of the Minority University Student in Technology, or MUST, program. The scholarship covers half of a student's tuition up to $10,000 for undergraduate students in engineering and technology in return for work at NASA centers. Participants are limited to U.S citizens pursuing an undergraduate degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics at a college or university in the United States who are members of an underrepresented group.
- The Science Teacher and Researcher, or STAR, program provides opportunities to science teachers or researchers to work at Dryden. This year's awardees include STAR mentors Yvonne Campos and Ron Hughes and STAR participants Brian Eney, Kristen Fogg, Kimberlee Margosian and Joshua Thompson.
- Contractor Jacobs/Tybrin Corp. works with Dryden's technical branches to fill summer student positions, which this year include Cameron Law and Stephanie Reynolds.
- The Student Temporary Employment Program, or STEP, is also referred to as the Stay-in-School program. It offers temporary employment ranging from summer jobs to positions that can last for as long as the student is pursuing his or her education. Participating in STEP this summer are Greg Alesso, Alexis Bartels, Nathaniel Black, Corey Christiansen, Jacob Copus, Jeremy Duke, Jorel Estrada, Amber Glass, Alexander Graebe, Camryn Hudson, Tatiana Lewis, Kyle Phipps, Grant Pickett, Nancy Pinon, Sabrina Piper, Kalena Shah, Lori Stewart and Daniel Wehunt.
- The NASA University Research Centers, or URCs, offer student opportunities at NASA centers designed to achieve a broad-based, competitive aerospace research capability at the nation's minority institutions. URC's are multidisciplinary research units established at minority institutions to focus on a specific area of NASA interest. The three URC students are working at Dryden and include Jessica Alvarenga, Greg Morales and Francisco Pena.
- Dryden also supported graduate student fellowships this summer. Neil Dhingra was awarded with the Harriet G. Jenkins Pre-Doctoral Fellowship and Helida Haro was awarded with a Graduate Student Researchers Program stipend. Christopher Busby and Zachary Hargreaves received Dryden project-funded scholarships.
By Jay Levine