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Center Snapshot: Vernet Mull
02.18.11
 
Vernet Mull. Image above: Vernet Mull began her NASA Langley career as an apprentice, working in the electrical shop. Photo credit: NASA/Sean Smith

By: Maggie Stough, student intern

After 23 ½ years in the Air Force Reserves, getting various degrees from three different colleges and spending 32 years at NASA Langley, Newport News native Vernet Mull has certainly accomplished a lot.

After graduating from Menchville High School in Newport News, Mull got her degree in electronic technology. Then, she joined the Air Force Reserves with plans to spend four years. But plans changed.

"I just kept saying, 'I'll just stay for another year,' " Mull said.

As the years stacked up, so did her rank. She left the Air Force Reserve as a Senior Master Sergeant and her resume included First Sergeant of the Year, a title sought by candidates recipients nationwide.

While in the reserve, she continued her education, earning a business degree from St. Leo University and a masters degree in aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Mull saw part of her time with the Air Force Reserves as being a part of history.

At the time of Operation Desert Storm, she was stationed in Dover, Del., where she helped to load planes.

Mull joined NASA Langley as an apprentice. More than twelve jobs later, she is the facility coordinator and safety head at the Hangar. There, she oversees operations and acts as the liaison between workers, whether civil servants or contractors. Her job deals with maintenance for the building and dealing with safety issues.

Her experience in other jobs and projects, such as Ares 1-X, taught her to be adaptable to cope with changing situations, undoubtedly a necessity now because her work at the Hangar began in January and "there's a lot to learn," Mull said. "But never a dull moment here."

Outside of work, she spends her time reading the Bible, shopping, looking for antiques and spending quality time with her husband and the rest of her family. Her parents and her son and his family, which includes two granddaughters, all live locally.

Mull cites watching her son become a man as well as a productive member of society as another accomplishment. With the feeling of accomplishment in raising her son, Mull is able to enjoy watching her granddaughter grow and learn.

Although home with her family is her favorite place to be, Mull has enjoyed travel and seeing differences in culture. Trips to Korea, Italy, Panama, Jamaica and Germany have awed her.

A tour of the Panama Canal left her asking, "How did they do that without our current technology? Now, if we wanted to build something like that, we’d just use a computer."

She still wants to go to Alaska, Hawaii and Israel.

“I’ve studied the Bible and read about all these places, but to actually be able to go there and see where all of these things happened,” Mull explained of the drive behind her desire to visit Israel.

With all those accomplishments, she is modest and more focused on her faith and her practice of it.

"Most people see love as an emotion, but I see it as a decision. We must choose to love one another. There are a people that are hard to love, but we must work to go beyond just what we see," she said.

Her work at Langley allows her to come in contact with "so many people who are so intelligent and creative."

The people she interacts with, not only as part of her job, but in her lifetime, she hopes, will "not remember me for the work I did, but for relationships that was established, the genuine love and compassion I held for them.”

Until then, Mull will continue to strive to better herself each day.

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