Women at NASA are making history every day by contributing to groundbreaking missions and projects in the areas of space, science and aeronautics. They’re also dedicated to inspiring the next generation of explorers to break new boundaries. We’re celebrating Women’s History Month by recognizing their stories and contributions to exploration and beyond.
Tell us briefly about your work for NASA and when you first knew you wanted to join the agency.
I have worked on almost every plane NASA has had during my career here, from fighter jets like the F-15 and F/A-18, to our flying observatory called the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, to the unmanned platforms like Ikhana and the Global Hawks. This was one of the things that drew me to NASA – the chance to work on so many different planes and the bonus of helping with the science and research projects.
Tell us whether you’ve overcome any challenges to get where you are.
I think people often see a girl in this technical field and don’t think she can do the job as well as a male counterpart. Generally, being a mechanic or avionics technician is a male-dominated field. People are often surprised by my background and ability to fix a multitude of things on an aircraft. Being female can make earning respect for my work and performance sometimes harder when it’s based on first impressions.
Share with us any role models who inspired you.
I’ve had the privilege to work under amazingly smart, talented women, including mechanics, avionics technicians, and engineers who have all inspired me to do my very best and continue growing to their level of expertise.
Explain briefly the importance of education in your upbringing.
I think technical schools are often overlooked when people are choosing a career. I got my Airframe and Powerplant certification from a vocational college that opened so many doors for me. I continued on to major in Aeronautics but it was the initial technical schooling that got me started.
Share with us any recommendations you may have for others like yourself who may be contemplating a career at NASA.
NASA is an amazing place to work. I honestly don’t know what is going to happen from one day to the next. Having the opportunity to be on so many different projects and helping with scientific research everyday makes my career here very fulfilling.