Another Symposium Anyone?
To start off, I didn’t win the poster competition. But inside sources did mention that I had a high score! But to rewind, since I had written a paper for the IAC (check out my other blog “Stepping Out for Italy”), I also made a poster on the same topic to submit in the 5th Annual Von Braun Symposium Poster Competition. As a side note, I think it’s almost mandatory to have long titles for anything professional, followed by acronyms, to have it be successful… just a thought. The symposium was an update on US space developments like NASA’s future plans, commercialization of space, meeting the industry (or non-government companies), etc… And in the middle of the week, they had a nice evening at Burritt on the Mountain on Monte Sano for the Poster Competition, in a brand new hall they had completed just weeks earlier! Now considering that this is my senior year, I’ve been in Huntsville for fairly long and I had never heard of the Burritt on the Mountain or that apparently, it has one of the nicest views of Huntsville and the rocket in the city! The whole evening was professional but very relaxed. We had a very fancy refreshment display and an open bar, for those who’re able… Also, a chance to see everyone else’s posters, to meet everyone who had come to participate in the Symposium and network. I met many NASA people as well as two German Space Agency representatives so my contact list received a boost! So even though I didn’t win the Kindle, it was a fun Symposium that will definitely be showing up on my resume.
Power, Fire and Metal ;)
So I’m taking MAE 115 (Machine Shop Class) this semester. I wanted to share some of the cool things I’m doing. I’ve completed a few projects where I’ve learned how to use a mill, lath, and bandsaw machine. Last week we started welding (mig and stick). Which is really fun. This week we did tig welding and used a plasma cutter. Personally I like the plasma cutter the most because I can cut cool shapes in to scrap pieces of steel.
It can be a little intimidating at first, but once you make that first arc you see how awesome it is. You can see the current in the metal when it becomes liquid. Especially in mig welding. It’s also interesting how different metals cool at different rates.
Here’s a pic of me and my friend Angel when we were stick welding last week.
Stepping Out For Italy
I recently got a chance to go to Naples, Italy. Yes, it was pretty cool, I had fun, but I was not a tourist. Actually, I had been working for the trip since the past February! That was when I had decided to submit an abstract for the 63rd International Astronautical Congress in Naples, Italy. That was a commitment. I am a business major and love my Business Administration Building so just going to the interest meeting for the conference was an adventure, because I got lost looking for the building and then – finding the right room. I couldn’t write a professional research manuscript alone, in a field I wasn’t familiar with, about the space industry. After knocking on few doors, I was introduced to two business professors who were already looking at a NASA collaborative project which I could work on!
The work I did in the next few months was completely new to me and challenging but after I finished it, I couldn’t wait to present it a the largest international space conference in the world! The flight was long to Naples but there was no time to be tired since we only had a day and a half to accommodate and look around, before the conference started. I met the head of DLR (yes, I know all the space agency acronyms now; that is the German) and their many representatives, had dinners with the initial CEO of a company which would become the Swiss Space Agency, ESA representatives and so many more. I found out how I can work in companies around the world or their USA branches, while staying within my field. I presented my paper and listened to countless other presentations in every field and became an expert on all the different places to eat between our hotel and the conference center. I boarded the flight back to Huntsville with a year’s worth of experiences in one short week, but remembering that UAHuntsville had more to offer.
All about me!…and UAHuntsville of course.
Can you believe that it’s already the 4th week of school? By now, everyone should be settled into their schedule and stressing over what their final grade will be. Oooops where are my manners, I’m Cassandra a junior psychology major sociology minor. I love hanging out with my friends, my family and my two dogs. I actually enjoy reading a good book over watching TV. (Yes, I’m a nerd). I’ve been stressing about Fall semester since last Spring.
Yes, I love UAHuntsville; in case you were wondering. This university has so much to offer from exciting HPE classes to challenging (but interesting) classes. If you live on campus you already know about the awesome residence halls! I live in North, the best upper-classmen residence hall on campus. If I’m late for class or a meeting I’m only about 5-10 min away depending on the location of such. I’m not a morning person whatsoever so I benefit from the extra 10-15 min snooze time I get from living on campus.
Let’s see….what am I looking forward to this semester? Glad you asked! I’m striving to make all A’s this semester (which isn’t looking to bright thanks to my Psych stats class), making it a priority to go to the gym consistently this entire semester (which is going well) and making new friends. Seems pretty legit, huh? Well we all know with hard work comes failures. I just try to roll with the punches and keep trying. Plus if we never fail, how will we know how to succeed? Think about it! Until next time…Charge On!
Advice for Pre-Health Professionals
Deciding a future career is a choice one does not take lightheartedly. To make my decision easier, I gained broad experiences, tried classes in several different disciplines, applied for and accepted internships, and reflected on my experiences. If, after reflection, you feel you would be happy as a doctor, optometrist, dentist, or any other health professional, seek experiences shadowing those professionals, and volunteer in those areas.
Shadowing and volunteering will not only help make decisions, but are required for admission into most health professional schools. Shadowing is a great way to gain perspective while observing a specific profession. To start shadowing, ask a professional who you have met before and works in an area you are interested in pursuing. I shadowed dentists, endodontists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons and periodontists.
Volunteering is also beneficial. Become an active member in an organization and donate your time; the personal rewards you receive are worth the effort. I volunteered by interpreting for Spanish speaking patients with Cahaba Valley Healthcare in Birmingham and with the Salvation Army in Huntsville.
Studying for classes and entrance exams are critical. Your academic success is a reflection of your dedication to become a health professional. Classes for admission into professional school help prepare you for entrance exams. However, practice is the key to success and studying months in advance give you an advantage when taking entrance exams.
You have the power to shape your future. Gain from your experiences and follow the path leading to happiness. If you are intrigued about the possibilities of being a doctor, veterinarian, or dentist, then start working towards your goal and be dedicated to your success.
Pre-Health Student at UAHuntsville
National Space Symposium!
In April, I and three other students attended the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. Many of world’s leaders in Space Technology were there to meet and discuss the future of Space Travel and their companies. We represented the National Space Grant Consortium which funds students throughout the United States.
While we were there, the symposium held New Generation sessions for students who are pursing careers in the Space Industry. We had opportunities to hang with many people who have made significant impacts in space technology. At the first event two of us sat and talked with Dan Collins (ULA CEO). He had some great advice for students pursing careers in the space industry. He said you need to constantly be challenging yourself, to make yourself better, and keep learning. Also to make sure, when you do reach the job you want, to make sure you have a boss that appreciates you and the work you do. We also had the pleasure of hanging with Joel Scotkin (Masten Space System’s CEO). He showed us what Masten has achieved and what they want to achieve.
Mike Griffin (former Adminitrator of NASA & professor at UAH), John Horack (VP of Research), and John Gregory (Director of Alabama Space Grant) from UAH also attened the conference. Dr. Horack and Dr. Gregory introduced us to a lot of great people.
We all had a great time and learned a lot about the space industry. And it was also a bonus to be right beside the Rocky Mountains and Cheyenne Mountain.
5 Tips for High School Seniors
There are many tips I give high school seniors and high-schoolers in general, but the main 5 are:
1. When choosing a University don’t be afraid to go far away or go close to home. The best place for you to go could be just around the corner or on the other side of the country. I came to Huntsville from Ohio and I’m very glad I did. My best friend is from Huntsville and I’m loving it here.
2. Start looking and applying early. It sucks, but scholarships and grants are handed out early. Plus you may get a bunch of free stuff for applying early!
3. Keep your grades up! You may think “I’m a senior, it doesn’t matter, I don’t need to learn anything here anymore, or what’s the point”. College is about learning inside and outside the classroom. You may not realize it now, but what you learn in high school becomes handy in college.
4. It’s ok if you don’t have a major picked out! You have plenty of time. It may take you an extra year or two, but it’s worth it when you do find something you love. Just go take classes in different areas. Most of the time you will find that you really like a subject or you really hate it. Then if you find that you are at the wrong university, it’s ok to transfer universities once you figure it out. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life my first year, but when I finally figured it out I transferred to UAHuntsville and I’m glad I did!
5. Do what will make you happy! You may have friends or family telling you what they think is best, but in the end it is you that has to make the decision and live with it. They might be upset for a while, but in time they’ll realize it’s for the best. College/adult life is about making your own decisions (good or bad), experiencing the consequences, and (hopefully) learning from them. My family will talk to me and give advice , but will not tell me what to do because they know I have to make it on my own. It will be frustrating at times, but you will be a better, more independent person for it.
I hope this helps you and your college experience!
My friends (Amy and Angela) on a weather balloon recovery mission. My hair is a mess, but was an interesting trip!
“ In fact, it was so successful that we decided to make this event Semi-Annual!” Those are words every student organization wants to hear. Now consider that the organization is just barely over a year old. Successful, fun, it’s got to be business; the Entrepreneurship Club.
They had a Networking Event for the club members, businessmen, CEO’s and fellow entrepreneurs in the community. There were more than 60 people in attendance! We were ready with our business cards and lists of everyone who was going to be there, both students and professionals. I even looked up the brief background information on everyone who would be there so I could start conversations easily. Our Business Administration Building was transformed by simply rearranging the couches, giving it an open feel.
The background music was playing as everyone walked around with light refreshments trying to read name tags before making an introduction. I spoke with several professionals as well as a professor I had seen in the building but never met. It was great to see how many people had started a business, fairly easily in my opinion! Easy in a way that it is not something for the few; if enough time is put into it. It was great to see so many other students interested in the field!