MELBOURNE, FLA.—Two Florida Institute of Technology students will participate this summer in the new NASA Student Ambassador Virtual Community: Michael Vergalla, a graduate student in mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Ryan Clegg, a senior with a double major in physics and space science.
The students are two of only four students selected from Florida and among 80 high-performing NASA interns selected from across the country.
Other students come from such universities as Harvard, Princeton; Georgia Tech; MIT; University of California, Berkeley; Clemson University and the University of Maryland at College Park.
Vergalla, from Lebanon Township, N.J., earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Florida Tech in 2008. This summer he is conducting microgravity research with Daniel Kirk, Florida Tech associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. Vergalla participated in microgravity flights in 2008 and will again in August.
Clegg, of Spartanburg, S.C., is a NASA intern this summer at Kennedy Space Center, where she is conducting physics experiments with lunar soil. Her academic adviser is Terry Oswalt, professor and head of Florida Tech’s Department of Physics and Space Sciences. She was named an Outstanding Junior in her department at the university’s Honors Convocation last May.
NASA managers and mentors nominated the recipients from the hundreds of current interns and fellows across the agency. The student ambassadors will interact with NASA, share information, make professional connections, collaborate with peers and help NASA inspire and engage future interns.