Four students from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community were selected to participate in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program. The students are Adrian Dobbs, Jessica Harder, Heather (Kenzi) Lovell, and Katy Seymour.
NCAS gives community college STEM students an authentic NASA experience, and encourages them to finish a two-year degree or transfer to a four-year university to pursue a NASA-related field or career. NCAS consists of a five-week online course (no credit) followed by a four-day engineering design workshop at a NASA center. Students nationwide are chosen to participate through a competitive process. Selected students are encouraged to study mathematics, science, engineering and computer science by interacting with engineers at different NASA centers.
Jessica Harder of Ocean Springs said she plans to major in aerospace engineering at Mississippi State University after this semester. She said the opportunity to participate in NCAS has been exciting for her. “I am looking forward to an experience learning more about NASA and their future moon to Mars missions,” she said. “I am also looking forward to working alongside NASA scientists and being part of a team to complete our project for Phase II.”
Adrian Dobbs of Wiggins is majoring in mechanical engineering and plans to participate in MSU’s Engineering on the Coast program at MGCCC’s Jackson County Campus.
“I applied to NCAS because the aerospace industry is why I am going back to school,” he said. “I jumped at the opportunity when my instructor contacted me about it because I love anything to do with aerospace. I had the opportunity to see a Space Shuttle launch in 2010 and it is one of the most amazing things I’ve had the chance to see.”
He said his dream is to work for NASA or SpaceX. “We are at the dawn of a new era of space flight, and I want to be a part of it and participating in NCAS has taught me so much about our history and future in space. “In Phase II we get to participate in an authentic NASA work team simulation to plan a lunar mission,” he said. “We will also be getting individualized resume feedback from mentors, which will help us all with planning our future at NASA or elsewhere.”
Katy Seymour of Ocean Springs is a freshman majoring in industrial engineering. “I have always been fascinated by space exploration and after my calculus instructor told me how the program could benefit me, I applied. Phase I really helped me improve my research and analysis skills. I’m looking forward to Phase II, connecting with other students and engineers, and learning about the career opportunities available at NASA.”
Students are scheduled to begin Phase II in August.
For more information about the NCAS program, visit https://www.nasa.gov/stem/murep/projects/ncas.html.