Student Features

Jonathan Barr
Portrait of  Jonathan Barr, GRC summer internJonathan Barr. Image Credit: NASA.
  1. Which NASA program did you participate in prior to the Ambassadors Program and what was your major project for that program?

    I was part of the NASA Academy Program at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland in the summer of 2009 prior to being a NASA Ambassador. I worked under Dr. Juan Agui on the Lunar Regolith Filtration Facility.

  2. What are you majoring in and what college are you attending?

    I recently graduated with a bachelor's degree in Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan (UM) in Aerospace Engineering. I will be earning my master's degree also from UM in Aerospace next spring.

  3. What are your career goals? Are they with NASA?

    My career goals are somewhat undefined. I would love to be part of the space industry, either with NASA or privatized companies. Right now, especially with young engineers, places like SpaceX and Blue Origin are the "sexy" places to be. I don't necessarily agree with that, but I will be applying to both NASA and SpaceX next spring when I graduate.

  4. Why did you choose to be a NASA Ambassador?

    I was unable to apply to a NASA internship this summer because I spent the month of May backpacking in Europe. I thought the Ambassador program would be a great way to stay involved with NASA.

  5. What are your future goals in the Ambassador Program and what are you looking forward to in the program?

    I think my main goal, and the main goal of the other Ambassadors, is to find a way to stay connected with NASA and their peers.

  6. How has interning and being an ambassador at NASA helped you?

    I was able to absorb a ton of information on not only the science and engineering involved with my internship project, but spaceflight history, the space industry and the NASA administration.

  7. What events are you looking forward to in the Ambassador Program or what events have you attended that sparked your interest??

    The webinars hosted by the program are pretty awesome, unfortunately most of them are held during the day so I am unable to attend. I hope during the school year I will be able to attend more, including some of those hosted by Nobel Laureates.

  8. What advice would you give to aspiring students who want to participate in the many opportunities NASA offers?

    Apply early and apply often.

  9. What have you experienced at NASA that stood out to you the most?

    The friends I made through the NASA Academy were epic, I learned a ton from my adviser on my project, and spending the summer exploring Glenn was awesome.

  10. How are you going to motivate students to pursue a career related to STEM? What motivated you?

    I grew up in Detroit where all the moms and dads on my street were auto engineers. Engineering wasn't seen as something for geeks, but rather a way of solving life's problems. Going into a STEM field means you are willing to push the limits of human understanding and invention. Pursuing a career in science and engineering puts you at the forefront of human knowledge and allows you to change the lives of people for the better.

-Reported by Aaron M. Greene, LERCIP intern

-Edited by Tori Woods, SGT Inc.
NASA’s Glenn Research Center