Mackenzie Deluliis, who is a 5th year Architecture student at Iowa State University, recently received an award from Stennis Space Center Future Development Concept and Master Planning Support! Because of this award Mackenzie was offered a full-time internship at NASA for the Fall 2021 semester.
Mackenzie will be using this internship as part of her studio work for the semester, and describes this new experience as “a once in a lifetime opportunity”. This experience will be the frame of an independent study that will help build her portfolio and skill set. Mackenzie contacted the NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium’s Assistant Director for Education, Sara Nelson, and Director of Iowa Space Grant Consortium Tomas Gonzalez-Torres for insights on NASA and how to go about this experience. Gonzalez-Torres, a former NASA intern, NASA Flight Director, and current ISGC Director told Mackenzie “During my time at the University, I held 6 internships with NASA before I graduated. Yes, it delayed my graduation, but the experiences and insight that I gained from the real-world were invaluable toward my continued success in school and after. It also placed me in an excellent position to receive a job offer upon graduation. You don’t need to do 6 internships, but I recommend to all students to delay graduation to get that experience. Graduating a few months later is nothing in the grand scheme of things, but an incredible stepping stone toward your future.”
“My assigned project is the master Planning for Enterprise Park at Stennis Space Center,” says Deluliis. “They have a bit over 1,000 acres of undeveloped land inside their free area (inside of the acoustical buffer) that they want developed into an industrial parkway. This is a big deal for them as it’s going to be outside of their security fences. I’m doing quite a bit of active master planning for them and providing the visuals and assorted renderings they’re looking for to hopefully sell this space to the prospective tenants.”
The ISGC is excited to see another Iowa student working with NASA and encourages all students to consider interning at NASA. The first step can be as easy as getting involved with ISGC and checking out the website page for all NASA and professional field hands-on experience. Go to the ISGC website and look for undergraduates, then scroll down to the internship section for more information and how to apply and get started. The range of internships can be quite diverse, and there are many opportunities for people outside of the math and science world. Students from Iowa universities and colleges including DMACC, Drake University, Iowa State Univesity, Loras College, University of Iowa, and University of Northern Iowa are all eligible for internship assistance and availability.
“I’m extremely excited about this project!” Deluliis also states. “I’ve been offered a spring semester internship with them as well, and believe that most of my time will be spent doing a continuation of the Master Plan for Enterprise Park. I’m enjoying the wonderful people I’ve had the chance to work with and speak to, and the broader experience of working for an organization like no other. This is an internship experience so few architecture students get to take part in, and I’m really excited to be where I am.”
Congratulations to Mackenzie. We are excited to see how she will grow this semester!