John Tyler Community College Engineering Student Lands Internship at NASA
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Released on August 21, 2014
CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – Sean Mayers dreamed of working at NASA. Now, that dream is becoming a reality. Mayers, an engineering student at John Tyler Community College, earned a 16-week, full-time, on-site internship at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Through the internship, which runs this fall, Mayers will be working with space launch systems.
The news of his selection comes just months after Mayers and another John Tyler student traveled to the Marshall Space Flight Center as part of the National Community College Aerospace Scholars project. They were two of only 40 community and junior college students from across the nation selected to participate in the semester-long program that included a visit to the space center and a chance to interact with NASA engineers. Mayers says it was during that trip that he made a contact who encouraged him to apply for the on-site internship. Mayers, who’s interested in aerospace and chemical engineering, decided to go for it and was thrilled when he learned he was selected.
Becoming an engineer has been a lifelong goal for Mayers, who already is a successful entrepreneur, owning his own cleaning service. He’s also a college graduate, holding a degree in political science. After his daughter was born, he decided to enroll in the Engineering Program at John Tyler because he wanted to change his life. He was also excited about the opportunities Tyler offered – opportunities that have manifested themselves in unexpected ways. He credits Tyler’s faculty for that. “The professors at JTCC encouraged me to work hard and follow my dreams,” he says.
“We are so proud of Sean,” says Dr. Roy Kaplan, professor of chemistry at John Tyler. “Sean has all those qualities expected of a good engineer. He’s bright, motivated, dedicated and always does what he says he will do. Although he was often bone-tired after working for his business all night, he was never late to an 8:00 a.m. chemistry class, and his work was of the highest caliber.”
Since his internship starts in September and ends midway through December, Mayers says he’ll have to put his education at John Tyler on hold for fall. But, he plans to be back in class for the Spring 2015 semester, working toward his associate degree in engineering. After he graduates from Tyler, he plans to transfer to a four-year university to complete his bachelor’s degree. After that, who knows? The sky’s the limit.
John Tyler Community College is the fifth largest of the 23 community colleges in Virginia. With campuses in Chester and Midlothian and off-campus classrooms throughout the area, John Tyler offers quality and economical opportunities for students who want to earn a degree or certificate, transfer to a four-year college or university, train for the workforce, or switch careers. The College, which served nearly 14,000 students during the 2013-14 academic year, offers 18 associate degrees, seven certificates, and 36 career studies certificates. The institution also serves more than 13,000 non-credit trainees and over 1,000 companies and government agencies annually through the Community College Workforce Alliance.