Our Lucy Asteroid Ambassadors are people all over the country who have been trained to teach the public about the Lucy Mission. All of our ambassadors have completed at least one semester of our L’SPACE Virtual Academy and have therefore had hands on experience working in teams to design NASA mission concepts and proposals in addition to their specific training on the Lucy Mission. If you are a college or university student interested in becoming a Lucy Ambassador, apply to the L’SPACE Virtual Academy!
Meet our Ambassadors
Corey Anderson is a Physics major with specialization in Astronomy at the University of Central Florida. Growing up the youngest of 3 boys, Corey was always trying new things. He played baseball, soccer, competed in weight lifting, performed in theatrical productions, and spent 6 years serving in the United States Navy. While his interest in some of these came and went with time, there was one thing that stuck with him throughout all of it: his love and interest in all things space related. Having lived in Florida for the majority of his life and being able to watch shuttle and rocket launches from his driveway, his passion for space has never diluted. Since leaving the Navy he has returned to UCF to reach for the stars and get into the space industry. He has joined UCF’s Astronomy Society and become its PR officer and has been a part of a team that produced a proposal for a probe to be sent to Mars and gather data on water stock under the surface for future human landing sites.
Elise Araiza is a current sophomore at Florida Polytechnic University pursuing a major in Mechanical Engineering. Ever since she was young, science, math, and stars have always gained her interest. Because of this, her passion for space and its exploration have bloomed. While seeking a STEM career, she is learning about various software that powers industry and the ins and outs of different areas of engineering. When she isn’t studying, she is either reading, hiking, hanging out with friends, or researching into something fascinating. She is active within her community and school. She volunteers to teach children regularly, is the current secretary for her school’s chapter of the Society of Women Engineers and looking to further other’s education by helping organize her school’s own hack-a-thon. She is excited about what the future has for her and what she has for it!
My name is Rachel Belton and I am a fourth year undergrad studying physics and astronomy at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. I spent two years as the president of the Astronomy Society at UCF, and I am currently the Vice President. I also do research for the CLASS laboratory, growing plants in Martian regolith simulant. My career goal is to help plants grow in space environments. I enjoy showing our beautiful cosmos and making them reachable to others, and inspiring kids to dream big. I’m very excited to introduce elementary-age kids to the Lucy Mission. They always have great questions and vivid imaginations which makes talking with them such a joy.
Molly Childers is a rising third year at the University of Virginia where she is double majoring in Astronomy and Computer Engineering. After her year-long journey with the Lucy Mission from participating in the virtual academies to being a NASA L’SPACE intern this summer, Molly is over the moon to finally get to spread the excitement of Lucy to other people in her community. When she does not have her head turned towards the night sky or staring at her code, Molly can be found on the stage where she enjoys singing and acting. She hopes to use her love of performing along with her deep interest in space to reach a wide audience during her time as a Lucy Ambassador and show the world just how exciting the universe can be!
Glen Chung is a both a Computer Science student part-time, and a chemistry instructor part-time at Santa Monica College and East Los Angeles College, in California. Glen has a passion for sharing the fascinating but lesser-known details of science with others, especially where math is involved. In his growing experience with NASA, Glen was an important member of a small team to create a mock proposal for an unmanned spacecraft that would collect fusion fuel from the solar wind. Glen aspires to one day win a NASA contract to bring a real proposal like that one to life. In his spare time, Glen works for an organization which lends lab equipment to K-12 science teachers in Los Angeles. Glen is also a nice husband and silly dad at home, plus caretaker of one dog, one gecko, and one tortoise.
Bridgette Cassidy Davey is a senior physics major currently attending Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. She primarily does research in astrophysics involving near earth asteroids. Her research and desire to share her love of astronomy are what motivated her to become a NASA Lucy Mission Ambassador. Throughout her academic life, Bridgette has had several mentors share their passion for science and encourage the same interest in her. She hopes to use the opportunity to share about the Lucy Mission to do the same for others. When it comes to presenting, her favorite styles are science demonstrations and interactive talks
Some of the things Bridgette enjoys in her spare time are growing plants, fossil hunting, reading science fiction, painting pictures, and playing flute. One of her favorite astronomy quotes is by Miles Kington: "Astronomers, like burglars and jazz musicians, operate best at night."
Dominick De La Cruz
Dominick De La Cruz just transferred to Arizona State University as a Junior and he is majoring in Aerospace Engineering. Having just graduated from Oxnard College in California, Dominick holds two Associates Degrees in Physics and Mathematics. Dominick also just got done with Nasa’s 5-week Lucy internship held at ASU. Some of his hobbies include reading, hiking, hanging out with friends, and watching movies. Dominick grew up with his family in Santa Clarita, California where he joined the Army in 2005. After 3 deployments (Iraq x2) (Afghanistan x1) Dominick returned home and followed his dreams of becoming an Aerospace Engineer. Dominick has the focus and dedication needed to continue his education and excel at the University level.
Kinor “Kori” Eliaz is an aspiring college sophomore and space enthusiast. A non-traditional transfer student with a focus on electrical engineering and RF design, Kori currently attends Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colorado. Since she was a child, Kori has been fascinated by science fiction, and wants to know more about the unknown regions of space. Her passion for deep space exploration has guided her to the Lucy mission, to which she’s contributed as a flight software engineering intern. Kori’s unique experiences as an unconventional college student make her especially excited to spread the word about Lucy to as many people as will listen, to prove that the dream of participating in the space industry is attainable to any who work hard enough for it. When she’s not studying for school, spreading the Lucy story, or fantasizing about other worlds, Kori is most likely riding her Victory Octane through Colorado’s majestic roadways and experiencing everything beautiful that this world has to offer.
Kristen English is an undergraduate at the University of Missouri Kansas City, majoring in Physics with an emphasis on Astronomy. Many challenges throughout her life have made Kristen a strong and resilient young woman with a passion to expand her mind. She started her journey toward NASA with the L'SPACE Virtual Academies which lead to a NASA funded internship through the L'SPACE Program in the summer of 2019. These experiences bonded her with the LUCY Mission and she is beyond excited to represent the mission as a LUCY Ambassador. When she is not studying or staring at the stars, Kristen can be found painting or doing other forms of artwork. She also finds happiness in spending time with friends and family, going to the gym, participating in her Buddhist Community and helping people within her community.
Tinsae (tin-sigh-eh) Giblin was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At age 16 she moved to Princeton, USA and attended High School where she joined the volleyball and track teams. Ever since she saw a speech by Kitaw Ejigu, a famous Ethiopian aerospace scientist, she has been in love with Astronomy and space engineering. In pursuit of her dream, she attended Summer Astronomy Camp at the University of Arizona as well as a Robotics & Engineering camp before heading to Cornell University. She is a rising sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Aerospace Engineering and plans to be on the first ship to Mars. Seriously. When she’s not studying, Tinsae likes to decorate her room, which includes a sparkly fiber-optic night sky display incorporating her favorite constellations. Also, Tae Kwon Do and talk to her Grandpa and Dad about astronomy and physics, her Mom (a professional pastry chef) about baking, and her two brothers about whatever they’re up to!
Chelsie Henderson is a community college student at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California. She hopes to transfer to University of California, Irvine to study Physics with a specialization in Astrophysics. She is excited to be a Lucy Ambassador because it affords her the opportunity to share her passion for space with everyone! Her goal is to help inspire and motivate a new generation to become the scientists and space explorers of tomorrow. Her two main goals in life are to 1) Learn as much as humanly possible and 2) Visit space at least once. In her free time, she enjoys rock-climbing, reading, and uncovering the secrets of the universe.
Carlos Hernandez is a 2019 L’SPACE Mission Concept Academy graduate. While in the academy, Carlos was selected to be the Project Manager for his team. There he helped lead a group of nine through the challenge of finding a method for detecting water on the surface of Mars. His team conceptualized dart-like projectiles which would strike and penetrate the surface of Mars to detect for liquid water. This work culminated in a Preliminary Design Review for which the team is very proud of.
Carlos obtained a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Physics from Portland State University in June 2019. While at Portland State University, Carlos conducted research in thin-film deposition techniques and worked on a team which developed an electron beam evaporator. Carlos was also the treasurer of the Physics Society, a campus-based group which hosted monthly physics events. As a member of the group, he hosted a series of workshops on MATLAB for beginners.
In his off-time, Carlos enjoys playing golf, watching movies, and wood-working. He can also occasionally be found enjoying a good book on a park bench. In the future, Carlos has a goal of someday working at NASA as a scientist to help unlock the mysteries of our planets.
Johnny Jones is from Traverse City, Michigan, and attends Northwestern Michigan College where he studies engineering and astronomy -- he will transfer to the University of Michigan next fall where he will finish a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Johnny has been part of the L’SPACE family for almost a year; he has participated in the first Mission Concept Academy and was a Lucy Mission intern this summer. Johnny plans to work in either the commercial space industry or for NASA and wants to specialize in lunar systems engineering.
Johnny is also a father of twin sons, an Iraq War veteran, works in aerospace manufacturing, and is a lab assistant at the NMC Rogers Observatory.
Doaa Khalil is a first-generation student who has just finished her undergrad degree in Mathematics-Statistics. Doaa is seeking on Pursuing a master degree in Leadership Studies at the University of Southern Maine starting in Fall 2019. She is taking this step because she believes that leadership is not only a position an individual hold, but it’s also a process and relationship among people. In the past four years, Doaa held many officer positions, taught in local schools, completed volunteering work experience, worked as a Student Advisor, and tried her best to help students succeed locally and internationally. As a teacher and a space lover, Doaa always made sure to advocate, educate and spread out the need for STEM major students. Moreover, she has dedicated her time to teach Elementary and Middle school students about space. Currently, Doaa is the Vice-Chair of the Graduate Student Board at USM and a Human Resources intern at one of the local hospitals. Uniqueness is what Doaa has been known for. She is an achiever and a responsible person who always takes that extra step when completing her projects. Lastly, Doaa would like to advise all students to not let their degrees limit their destination.
Thomas-James Le is a Computer Science major specializing in Data Science at California State University of Fullerton. With a passion for technology and its future impact on society, Thomas-James self-taught languages Python and React Native to develop both IOS and Android applications. In his growing experience with NASA, Thomas-James led a team of ten members to create a proposal for an analytical probe that will explore Mars for potential human landing sites. After successfully completing the proposal, he is currently co-leading a class where he is teaching children how to code and develop their own artificial intelligence. When he's not working, Thomas-James can be found hiking with his friends to hidden waterfalls.
Connor started his academic career in space exploration at the age of 15 at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, MA where he studied physics. After three years, he transferred into Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA to study electrical and nuclear engineering. While there, he interned with two different aerospace/defense contractors as an electrical engineer and participated in the Lucy Student Pipeline Accelerator and Competency Enabler (L’SPACE) program. Currently, he is working on his PhD in aeronautical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. He plans on working in the space exploration industry, either with NASA directly or in academia. In his spare time, Connor enjoys rock climbing, video games, and tabletop gaming. When he moves to New York, he plans on spending much of his free time visiting parks and bouldering outside of the rock wall.
Luke Martin is currently attending Century Community College in Minnesota where he plans on getting his associates degree in Engineering before transferring to either the University of MN Twin Cities, or Arizona State University (ASU) to pursue a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. During the school year he works part-time as a student worker in his school’s fabrication lab where he helps other students learn basic engineering skills such as 3D printing, laser cutting, and CAD design. During the summer he completed an internship with NASA at the Mars space flight center at ASU, and he is now looking forward to continuing working with NASA by being an Ambassador for the Lucy Mission.
Jorge E. Montes has a passion for technology and love for innovation. He is a “hacker”, in the words true meaning “a curious mind”. His passion for technology brought him to Santa Monica College in California where he began his journey to become a Computer Scientist. Jorge has always been creative and always thinks outside the box. Most of the time he is not aware a box exist. Jorge has successfully completed 2 NASA L’Space Academy courses. There he was motivated and inspired by the many NASA guest speakers, by the L’SPACE Staff, and by the projects he worked on. That made him believe he could one day work at NASA. Now he wants to bring the same motivation to the next generation of curious minds.
Wilbert Ruperto Hernandez
Wilbert Andrés Ruperto Hernández is an undergraduate student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. He is an aspiring aerospace engineer and planetary scientist who hopes to become an astronaut in the near future. For this reason, Wilbert joined the Lucy Student Pipeline Accelerator and Competency Enabler (L’SPACE) Academy. He participated in the Mission Concept and the Proposal/ Review Academy and was also selected as a Lucy Mission intern at the Mars Space Flight Facility in the Arizona State University. As a Lucy Asteroid Ambassador, Wilbert hopes to communicate the excitement and the importance of the Lucy Mission with his audience. He is particularly interested in engaging with his fellow Puerto Rican people in fun outreach activities.
Grace Sexton is a third-year mechanical engineering student attending Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. As the upcoming president of WSU’s Engineering Student Senate, Grace will act as a liaison between students and faculty by meeting with engineering organizations to discuss networking events, planning leadership workshops for engineering students, and working closely with WSU’s Engineering Diversity Council to fight injustice in the workplace and beyond. She loves spending her spare time cooking, traveling, attending post-hardcore concerts, or finding a less expensive hobby. Grace has always been fascinated by astronomy, meteorology, mathematics, and engineering from the time of a young girl, and she is excited to see how NASA’s Lucy Mission acts as a way to bring Wayne State students and the Detroit community together.
David Dezell Turner was born and raised in Iowa, like Peggy Whitson, or Captain Kirk. So he basically has space exploration coursing through his veins. Since his parents first bought him a miniature planetarium projector, he’s been obsessed with astronomy and space exploration. After countless childhood stargazing adventures and a paleontological research opportunity in high school made him hungry for a career in STEM, he decided to pursue his dreams and major in aerospace engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. When he’s not studying or teaching people the ins and outs of NASA’s Lucy Mission, he’s singing in the MIT Gospel Choir or drawing with an Etch-A-Sketch. (Most likely the latter.)
Alyssa Walker is a student at Shoreline Community College in Washington State studying Planetary Geology. She hopes to work for NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California as a Planetary Geologist in the future. Geology and Astronomy have always been a passion for Alyssa, and she is looking to put that knowledge to good use. In her spare time, she goes out rockhounding, searching for unique rocks to add to her collection. Alyssa is excited that she has this opportunity to share the Lucy Mission and its story with others, as it has excited her since she first heard about it.
Kellie Young is a second year student at Butte College in Northern California. She is a member of the Math, Engineering, and Science Achievement program at her college and takes part in the MESA club as well. With a passion for physical science Kellie is majoring in chemistry and plans to minor in geology, as she loves studying the natural world where she enjoys hiking, camping, and kayaking. Growing up a competitive cheerleader Kellie’s passions and interests shine through her personality, things she is thrilled to share with children, her peers, and her community of Chico, CA. She successfully completed NASA’s College Aerospace Scholars program and competed in a robotics competition at NASA Ames Research Center. Kellie wants to show the world what women in science are capable of and is eager to share her knowledge with a smile on her face.