The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Senior accepted into NASA math internship

When senior Rochelle Halama received a mass e-mail about a possible internship with the NASA student research program, her first reaction was, “Hey, why not. I’m just going for it.” And she did.

On Jan. 12, Halama will begin an internship at the Wallops Flight Facility on the eastern shore of Virginia that will end on April 24. Halama, mathematics major and McNair Scholar, said it took a few tries before the internship worked out but she is excited to finally begin.

“I applied last year at this time for last spring and I didn’t get it,” Halama said. “I didn’t think I got it (at all).”

But in October, she was informed that she was accepted and would be a part of the internship.

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“I’ve been on cloud nine,” Halama said. “It’s pretty exciting.”

According to NASA’s Web site, Wallops Flight Facility is the principle site for suborbital research programs. Halama looked at all of the different internships for math majors and this one was on the list.

“I chose (Wallops) because it wasn’t popular,” Halama said.

She added there were some other interesting internships on the list but she assumed they would be pretty popular with everyone else applying. Halama said that there will be only three other students at the facility with her.

Halama has been an active student at UW-Eau Claire. She is now in math club and hopes to join biology club as well. She said she goes to seminars and tries to participate whenever she can.

Halama had a lot to say about the professors that helped her along the way. She noted math professors William Applebaugh, Mohamed Elgindi and Michael Howe, who wrote her letters of recommendation. She said that the internship wouldn’t have been possible without them.

“(They) have been supportive all along the way,” Halama said.

Because Halama landed the internship, it will push her graduation date back, but she seems to be embracing it. Halama plans on changing to a double major in math and biology. She even hopes to go to the Gulf Coast and Scotland.

“When one door closes so many more open,” Halama said. “Since I’m not graduating I get to do so much more.”

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Senior accepted into NASA math internship