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09.30.2009 6:26 PM
Parker Fagrelius

By Parker Fagrelius
Astronomy and Physics Missions Concepts

Recently, I have been given the opportunity to represent the lab in a variety of situations: in Europe as a representative for a US/JPL contribution to an ESA-led mission, as an early career hire (ECH) in a briefing to Lori Garver (NASA deputy director) during her visit of JPL, and this coming November as a woman at a conference entitled “Women in Astronomy and Space Science 2009.” These opportunities have been a great honor and I am humbled by the level of confidence the lab has had in me, having been an employee less than one year. These events have certainly impressed upon me a new perspective of my work. Coming to the office every morning is more than writing requirements, drawing up functional block diagrams or test plans, or doing costing exercises. While doing this work is obviously an integral part of being a systems engineer, my work every day also reflects the drive, work ethic, capability, and passion of a young generation of women in the physical sciences and engineering in this country. While our technical goals are paramount to the lab’s success, being an employee at JPL provides us with a position in which more can be accomplished: demonstrating a sense of possibility for engineers, astrophysicists, women, and a young American generation.

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