NASA People

Center Snapshot: Dustin Hitt
Dustin Hitt. Image above: Dustin Hitt keeps an inventory of more than 600 items that are loaned to employees, museums and other public outreach special events. NASA/Sean Smith

By: Denise Lineberry

Dustin Hitt has had a wide variety of experiences that have prepared him for just about anything, starting with a new job at NASA Langley as an exhibit specialist.

His past jobs range from being former President George H.W. Bush's personal Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for a D.C. event to being a field medic with the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S Navy. He also worked in the healthcare industry for 10 years and worked full-time at a psychiatric hospital, while going to school full-time for his nursing degree.

"Being a nurse has made me more empathetic and caring of other people. The military made me tough enough to be able to handle stress and pressure, while being a father brought out the comedian and the softer side of me," Hitt said.

His work now, at NASA Langley, and at home with his three sons, ages 10, 13 and 15, is rewarding, according to Hitt. And his experiences have given him insight into working with others and the basic know-how for getting the job done.

"I have done a little bit of everything," Hitt said. "I have done the manual labor. I have done the customer service. I have been the handyman. My children have always kept me on my toes, bouncing from place to place, which is very much what my day is like at work."

With more than 600 items to inventory, organize and occasionally set up, he stays on the go between Building 1216, the warehouse and area events. He has even created his own jingle of a sort: "Your presentation will be tops, if you come to me for your props."

When Hitt was a child, he dreamed of becoming an astronaut, and he takes pride in working at NASA. "I look at my job now and it brings me such pride and fulfillment to know that I contribute to the teachings and inspiring today's children to be NASA's future researchers or engineers," he said.

He dreams of flying are still in limbo. He hopes to earn his pilot's license, but mostly he "would like to be a great father to my three boys. Raising them with the insight and knowledge to reach their full potential would be a great accomplishment."

Hitt was born in Singapore, where his father worked in the oil business. He was raised in Louisiana. "I have traveled to many places with the military and have found something interesting in every place I called home at some point," he said.

He is happy with Virginia as his home. "One day you can be at the beach and the next day you can be at a cabin in the mountains. There is always something here for you to do," Hitt said.

When he isn't working, he just enjoys spending time with his children and his girlfriend. He likes to do things outdoors, such as camping, playing golf, disc golf and tennis. When he gets back home, he likes to play video games, cook and watch movies.

With plenty of travel and experiences behind him, Hitt looks forward to more of each and, especially, seeing his sons continue grow and travel their own paths.

"Their success and accomplishments in life to succeed and be great men, husbands and fathers will be my greatest accomplishment," Hitt said.