Student Success

“Over the Moon” with Excitement: Students Selected as NASA Scholars

RALEIGH, N.C. (December 16, 2020) – Two students at Wake Tech have been named NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS). Jordan Hale and Brittany Wilson were selected after submitting a 300-word essay and a recommendation from their professors. The NCAS program seeks to build a diverse future workforce in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields by opening doors for two-year community college students.

Starting January 13, Hale and Wilson will begin a five-week online course about NASA missions and research, with guidance and support from NASA educators and experts. The students will also attend lectures and interact with other aerospace scholars. Those who complete the online course successfully may be invited to join a more comprehensive NASA experience in March.

Both were overjoyed to learn of their acceptance as aerospace scholars.  

“I was over the moon!” said Hale. “I didn’t think I would be qualified for such a great program.”

“I thought, wow – an opportunity to learn from the people at NASA!” said Wilson. “It feels fantastic to be chosen for such an awesome opportunity.”

Hale is an engineering major who aspires to work at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California someday. Earlier this year, he was working as a machinist alongside aerospace engineers when the pandemic resulted in layoffs. He decided to use the time to pursue an engineering degree.

Wilson is an Associate in Science degree student who hopes to transfer to NC State University after she graduates to study biology – for a career as a cardiothoracic surgeon. Her family history of heart problems inspired her, she says, along with a favorite TV show, “Grey’s Anatomy.”

The scholars program is funded by NASA’s Minority University Research and Education program. NASA says a diverse STEM workforce is critical to future missions to the moon, Mars and beyond.