PhD Student: Space Science

Favorite Music:
My favorite kind of music are classical instrumental works.
Tell us something unusual about yourself - something that makes you special, unique and not a "typical" STEMinista:
Something unique about me is that I am also a classically trained musician with a bachelor's degree in music performance. I perform on French horn regularly in University of Michigan groups.
Where are you from? Where were you born and/or raised?
I am from a small town in Iowa.
What are you doing/plan to do with your STEM degree?
My undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering got me excited about space. I'm working on my PhD now in space sciences, studying planetary atmospheres. I hope to become a NASA research scientist!
Tell us about one person in your childhood who had a great effect on your life?
One of my elementary school teachers, Mrs. McCoy, had a great influence on my life. She always took the time to make me question "why" things in math and science were the way they appeared. She also challenged me to think creatively and encouraged me to explore STEM careers. I suppose that is where my love of scientific research first started!
Favorite Dessert:
Mint chip ice cream is my go-to dessert, but I love most anything chocolate and strawberry rhubarb pie.
What's the one thing you want to accomplish before the year 2025?
After I earn my doctorate, I want to shoot for the stars, or at least other planets. By 2025, I want to have collaborated with NASA on at least one space mission. I would love to work on instruments to study Venus' atmosphere.
What has your job taught you?
As a PhD student, I have learned that failure is not always a bad thing. In research, learning that something doesn't work is sometimes even more important than finding out what does. Finding the mental toughness to continue after a brutal failure is part of what makes a researcher successful.

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