Where are you from?
I live in Goldvein, Virginia. It is a small town that actually had quite a bit of gold mined from there in the past.
Describe the first time you made a personal connection with outer space.
Living out in the country is a wonderful place to view the stars and planets without the light pollution. I've always gazed up at the stars and wondered what else is out in our solar system and beyond. The search for life has interested me and I'm curious if someone out there is looking at us from far, far away!
Living out in the country is a wonderful place to view the stars and planets without the light pollution. I've always gazed up at the stars and wondered what else is out in our solar system and beyond.
How did you end up working in the space program?
I started working for NASA two weeks after the Challenger accident. It was a tough time for NASA and I remember the relief when the next shuttle launched safely. NASA is a family and is committed to the safety of the people involved in the space program and I knew this is the place I wanted to work.
What missions have you worked on?
I have been working at NASA for over 30 years now, it's amazing how time has flown by so fast! I have worked on many programs including the Manned Flight Awareness Program, Space Flight Awareness, Space Communications Program, and the LAUNCH program which is a global initiative-innovative work for a sustainable future.
I also worked for the Space Technology Mission Directorate and now work on the Mars Exploration Program for the Planetary Science Division of the Science Mission Directorate. This has been the most exciting by far!
Who inspired you?
My inspirations have been the men and women at NASA. Just to see the passion they have for their jobs and how they have a desire to make the world a better place and search for possibilities of habitation on other planets is incredibly inspiring!
What does your job entail?
I love my job. I am a graphic designer and work on web sites, briefings, illustrations, exhibits, and miscellaneous art requirements. I also have the opportunity to support launches and work with great teams of people.
Tell us about a favorite moment so far in your career.
It is hard to pinpoint a favorite moment in my career because there have been so many. I have been lucky enough to have met so many famous people including a Vice President, director James Cameron and many more! I've also had great tours of NASA centers and learned so much about the various program instruments. I am most proud of is the New Horizons Mission to Pluto. I was the web person who posted all the first images of Pluto from the direct downlinks from the satellite. Along with our Public Affairs Office, we were able to take the public on the exciting trip to Pluto and beyond.
I am also proud of being on the creative team for the NASA's Journey to Mars campaign. We have developed great designs for public outreach.
What are you looking forward to in your career?
I am looking forward to finding out more about the search for water and possible life on Mars.
What advice would you give someone who wants to take the same career path as you?
Definitely the STEAM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math educational background. There are so many possible careers at NASA and if you have this educational background you could be part of the team.
What do you do for fun?
I love being with my family, traveling, daring adventures and paranormal research!