Carson City native Katie Browne is shooting for the stars, and she’s well on her way after completing an internship this summer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Last summer, she completed an internship with NASA Ames Research Center in California, another division of NASA and turned down an invitation to return there so she could work with robotics at Goddard. First Ames, then Goddard, and now, after her graduation from the University of Nevada, Reno in December, Browne will begin working full-time at the Goddard Center at the end of January.
“It’s the only organization I’ve ever wanted to work for,” Browne, a 22-year-old University of Nevada student with cerebral palsy, said. “I have been working on getting a robot to autonomously navigate and map out an unknown terrain. It’s a dream come true to be able to continue with NASA.”
Browne attributes her success to ENTRY POINT!, a program that helps disabled students find internships with the American Association for the Advancement of Science and NASA.
“ENTRY POINT has opened a lot of doors for me,” Browne said. “It places disabled people in a truly amazing internship and allows them to shine. Because of my Goddard internship, I was able to turn a few heads and got offered a job there.”
In her future, Browne eventually sees obtaining her master’s degree in computer science.
She was also able to participate in the NASA Goddard Academy in Maryland during the summer. NASA Goddard Academy is a leadership program for the future leaders of NASA, otherwise known as “NASA boot camp.” Academy students worked in labs, interacted with retirees of NASA and participated in a group project outside of individual projects.