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NASA SELECTS NEBRASKA ENGINEER TO STUDENT AMBASSADORS

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Andrew Kelley, a UNL senior from Lincoln who majors in mechanical engineering, was chosen as one of NASA's first-ever Student Ambassadors.

In the U.S. space agency's efforts to engage students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) opportunities, Kelley is among 80 high-performing interns selected for this new program.

Kelley is currently an intern with NASA's V5 Virtual Environment Support for Constellation 606E/F Ground Operations. His work includes 3D scanning and modeling relating to the Orion crew exploration vehicle and other Constellation hardware.

The initial group of NASA Student Ambassadors includes interns from 35 states and 64 universities. Tamara Parker, a computer information systems student from Little Priest Tribal College in Winnebago, is the other NASA Student Ambassador representing Nebraska.

The NASA Student Ambassadors program "will serve as an outreach vehicle to the nation's students as well as a way to engage exceptional Gen-Y NASA students," said Mabel Matthews, NASA's Higher Education manager and lead for the community. "This innovative activity will be a leading effort to help NASA attract, engage, educate and employ the next generation."

Through a virtual community, ambassadors will interact with NASA, share information, make professional connections, collaborate with peers, represent NASA in a variety of venues, and help NASA inspire and engage future interns. Their Web site offers the latest NASA news, blogs, and announcements; member profiles, forums, polls, and NASA contact information; and links to cutting-edge research and career resources.

According to NASA, the program helps serve the agency's major education goal of strengthening NASA and the nation's future workforce by developing the critical skills and capabilities needed to achieve its mission.

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