B.S. in Biochemistry and Minor in Anthropology, May 2009
NASA Academy Research Project:
Functional Near-Infared Spectroscopy
NASA’s chief medical officer, Dr. Richard Williams, said that the goals of physicians in NASA are to “maximize the demonstrated synergy between space exploration and advances in patient care as we undertake exploration class space missions.” I want to aid NASA because of their direct influence in patient care as it relates to the people of Africa. Simple improvements in their quality of life (such as better column chromatography for pure water consumption) make a significant difference in the lives of those less fortunate. Research with NASA produces first the advancement of technology relating to space, but the secondary by-product is the betterment of human life.
After seeing three shuttle launches in person as a young girl, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the space industry. Feeling the wave of heat and awe envelop the crowd sparked an interest in me that has yet to be put out. Simple discoveries have come from NASA that have directly influence the health of the human population. Specifically, the vertical treadmill and NEEMO 12 devices have helped scientists to learn more about the human body. By my participation with these and other apparatuses in the Human Research Program, I feel that I could help to drive medicine forward. Especially in a time where fuel is a valuable commodity, I look forward to finding viable alternatives to natural resources through marine life. One of my strengths is ideation. I approach all tasks wholeheartedly and apply innovation in uncommon ways, which I will apply to the biofuel research conducted at Glenn.
Work Experience, Research, and Hobbies
My passion in life is for people’s lives to be improved through the betterment of their health. I love medicine and everything involved in its process, so the majority of my undergraduate career was spent in that pursuit. I have over sixty hours shadowing experience in many diverse disciplines of medicine, ranging from anesthesia, OB/GYN, eating disorders, and orthopedic surgery, which I have assisted the physician in several surgeries in minor tasks.
I earned my Private Pilot’s License on my 17th birthday, the earliest allowed in the state of Texas. As a young girl I knew I loved aviation along with the space program, and started flying as soon as I could. My hours logged and time spent studying for flight has been invaluable in all pursuits of my life, teaching me patience, determination, and to follow my dreams without fear. I hope to use my license one day along with my research in medicine in Africa one day.
In the Texas Aerospace Scholars Program (founded for high-school students before their senior year to learn more about NASA), I was chosen the leader of my team and the only student speaker at the luncheon that week. That experience fueled my interest in NASA as a real possibility for work in the space industry.
I implemented an equestrian team at my high school while winning many competitions, including being offered a scholarship and spot on the Baylor University Equestrian Team. Working with horses taught me much about patience and that hard work pays off. I also was a working actor all through high school, which has allowed me to pay for my equestrian experiences and flying lessons, not to mention my first car. These lessons in self-reliance cemented my drive for accomplishment.
Educational and Professional Objectives
I am a person of deep convictions. My heart is drawn to the people of Africa, and a life goal of mine is to spend time every year working directly with them. I spent a month in Zambia working with AIDS orphans. I speak Swahili as a second language, and although research is vital to the advancement of medical studies, the direct interaction with patients keeps me focused on the goal of advances in patient care.