Out of This World!

November 21, 2013

The nation is facing a serious “brain-drain” as fewer and fewer students enter the sciences, a representative of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) told Kean University students and faculty on Nov. 20.

Enidia Santiago-Arce, a senior technology transfer manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, encouraged students to follow in her footsteps by pursuing careers in science and technology. “Follow your dream,” she said, noting that she did just that. As a child growing up in Puerto Rico, she dreamed of becoming an astronaut. She changed her mind after sampling the vigorous training astronauts undergo, but her dream of working at NASA came true.

Ms. Santiago-Arce showed students and faculty the many products and innovations that NASA helped to produce and disseminate – such as the materials in high-tech mattresses and the headsets used for X-box.

“Our students get the finest scientific education available and have access to all these powerful scientific tools, so this was a great moment to provide them with the structural knowledge to go about using these tools and further pursuing their application in their desired fields,” said Shane Derris, assistant director of the Center for History, Politics, and Policy, which sponsored the event.

Many students took part in a question-and-answer period at the conclusion of the event, with some investigating internship possibilities with NASA. Following the formal Q & A session, students were invited to a post-event lunch where many took advantage of the opportunity to speak with Ms. Santiago-Arce.

Anybody interested in an internship at NASA can find more information at https://intern.nasa.gov/ .

Shane Derris is the Assistant Director of the Kean University Center for History, Politics and Policy.