Esteemed NASA scientist visits WRA

As an acclaimed scientist for NASA, Dr. Dionne Hernandez-Lugo has always been one to shoot for the stars.

It just so happens that her work is helping turn that dream into a reality.

The WRA community was fortunate to welcome Dr. Hernandez-Lugo to campus on Monday, where she took the floor at Morning Meeting. Dr. Hernandez-Lugo shared her career journey with a full Chapel of curious Reserve students.

Originally from Puerto Rico, she left behind white sand beaches for a fellowship with NASA as she was earning her doctorate degree. This fellowship led to a full-time job, and now she has worked alongside chemists and engineers on groundbreaking projects like designing rechargeable batteries for NASA's X-57 electric plane.

Currently, Dr. Hernandez-Lugo leads a team of scientists that is developing technology for astronauts to operate instruments on the moon, hopefully opening the door to deeper space travel.

NASA has outlined their plan to send the first woman and the first person of color to the moon by 2024, called the Artemis Program. Dr. Hernandez-Lugo is contributing work directly to this effort, which will mark the first time humans have landed on lunar soil since 1972.

The DEI office, along with the Latino Student Union, made it possible for Dr. Hernandez-Lugo to come to WRA. In addition to her Morning Meeting address, she also graciously offered to be present during lunch and for a number of science classes on campus, including Astronomy and Chemistry, where she connected with students and answered their questions.

To learn more about Dr. Hernandez-Lugo and her work at NASA, watch this video.