Oakland University
Monday, September 29, 2014

NASA engineers share experiences with Honors College students

OU Honors College student Alissa Bandalene, along with NASA employees David McKissock and Nicole Smith, share their experiences with the space agency at the fall 2014 freshman colloquium.   
As part of the fall 2014 Honors College freshman colloquium, “Making Discoveries,” two NASA engineers – and an OU student who recently interned at NASA – brought their perspectives on the pursuit of knowledge, human achievement and the future of space exploration to campus. 

NASA employees David McKissock and Nicole Smith spoke about the past, present and future of the space program. Both work at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. McKissock, an aerospace engineer, has been at NASA since 1983, witnessing the field’s evolution over three decades. Smith is a senior project manager who works on the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, which will conduct its first flight test this December. The vehicle is designed to reach far-flung destinations such as the moon, asteroids and even Mars.

Alissa Bandalene shared her experiences as an intern in NASA’s Space Life Sciences Training Program this past summer. The Honors College member and biochemistry major was one of just 12 interns selected from around 1,300 applicants for the program, based at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. She spent the 10-week internship meeting world-renowned scientists, working on research projects and visiting modern technology meccas, such as Google headquarters and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

“My entire life I dreamed of working at NASA,” Bandalene told the audience. “If anyone here has a dream, I encourage you to get involved now.”

The “Making Discoveries” colloquium is focused on the process of discovery in fields such as the arts, technology and medicine, as well as individual and team excellence.

With more than 300 students, this year marks the largest incoming class of Honors College freshmen in University history. For more information on the Honors College, visit the website at oakland.edu/hc.

As part of this year's Honors College freshman colloquium, two NASA engineers – and an OU student who interned at NASA – shared their perspectives on space exploration.

Created by Eric Reikowski (esreikow@oakland.edu) on Thursday, September 18, 2014
Modified by Colleen Campbell (cjcampbell@oakland.edu) on Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Article Start Date: Monday, September 29, 2014