National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Gina Benigno

Towson University
Towson, MDGina Benigno
B.S. in Astrophysics, Math minor, ‘12

NASA Academy Research Project

  • Dirigible Airship for Venus Exploration

Principal Investigators

  • Dr. Geoffrey Landis
  • Mr. Anthony Colozza

Hometown: Hillsdale, NJ


It was only recently that I actually realized who I am and what I’m about. I don’t need to prove myself to anyone or pretend to be someone I’m not because I am finally able to be honest and true with myself. So often, people put up with things that just bring unnecessary stress to their lives by obsessing over the actions of other people. The fact of the matter is that you have absolutely no control over anyone or anything but yourself. It is a hard reality to accept, but once you do, life becomes much easier. You are able to see that you are truly only in control of you, and the most you can do in any given situation is to stop trying to control everything else and simply be the best person you can be to your own moral standings.

Education and Work Experience

I plan on graduating this coming December from Towson University with a B.S. in Physics with a concentration in Astrophysics and a minor in Mathematics. Entering school as a Secondary Education Mathematics major, switching into the Astrophysics program the Fall semester of my Sophomore year, and adding on a mathematics minor the following semester prevented me from graduating on time with the rest of my class.

In the Fall semester of my senior year, I was hired by my universities athletic department to tutor athletes in five different math and physics courses. The tutoring sessions contained anywhere from one to four athletes per course, depending on the course. On top of that, I’ve worked one on one with people in nearly every job I’ve ever had. During the school year, my life is often too consumed with schoolwork or participating in my universities Division I Track and Field team, but on breaks and during high school, even going as far back as 6th grade, I’ve never gone without a job. Since my senior year of high school, I’ve actually had three jobs at almost any given time.

Most jobs have included working one on one with people. I’ve pretty much covered the spectrum of part time employment, from working in restaurant type establishments, to working in an apartments rental office. I even taught children as young as three years of age gymnastics for six years; and if I’ve learned just one thing from every one of my jobs, it’s patience.

Hobbies and Interests

Throughout the past four years of my college experience (and another six years before that as well) I’ve competed for my universities Division I Track and Field team in the pole vault. That, on top of school, has taken up most of my time as a college student, however, when I get the free time I enjoy several different activities.

The two hobbies I take interest in most are riding my motorcycle as frequently as possible, and attending punk shows with friends all over the country. I’ve even traveled to California to attend a festival before. Mostly I just stay on the east coast, but will venture anywhere from 15 minutes to 4 hours away for some. Other than that, I mostly just take advantage of whatever it is that comes my way.


The amount of things that I’d like to accomplish in my lifetime is endless. Mostly crazy and fun things like bungee jump and driving cross-country with friends; however, eventually I’d like to settle down with a career. I’ve always dreamed of working with NASA in some way, but mostly my main goal in life is to be happy, and love what I do.