TCC Students Named NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars

March 13, 2020
Learning about NASA’s Orion spacecraft program is just one of the topics Tulsa Community College students Brandon Conley and Michelle Echeverri heard about during their four days at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Conley and Echeverri were selected out of 524 community college students from across the U.S. to be part of the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) Onsite Experience. They successfully completed a five-week online course which lead to the visit to the Johnson Space Center.

“Working at NASA is my dream job. Being able to talk to and learn from individuals who work there now, showed me what is possible and that my dream is achievable,” said Echeverri. “One of the highlights was visiting with Stuart McClung, a space capsule engineer, who is working on NASA’s Orion spacecraft to take humans into deep space.”

While at NASA, students worked as teams to develop and test a prototype rover, form a company infrastructure, manage a budget, and develop communications and outreach. They also learned about NASA internships and toured NASA’s unique facilities.

“I learned what areas I could focus on to improve and how my skillset could best help a team. The experience reminded me that if you try hard you already have the ‘right stuff’ to succeed in life,” said Conley.

Conley expects to graduate Dec. 2020 with an associate degree in math and Echeverri plans to graduate May 2020 with an associate degree in enterprise development. They both plan to transfer and complete a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

Tulsa Community College is an affiliate of NASA’s Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium.

As part of that partnership, TCC is focused on sending students to NASA Centers for internship programs for these hands-on learning experiences. For more information, contact Mary Phillips at mary.phillips@tulsacc.edu.

The Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP funds NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars. MUREP is committed to engaging underrepresented and underserved students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with authentic learning experiences to sustain a diverse workforce.

With this activity, NASA continues the agency’s tradition of engaging the nation in NASA’s mission and leading an innovative and sustainable program of exploration to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities.

For additional information, please contact National Community College Aerospace Scholars by email at JSC-NCAS@mail.nasa.gov or by phone at (281) 244-0104.