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Thanks for Stopping By This Nerdy Spot!

I'm just popping in here today to give a little shout out to all the new readers! I'm so, so happy you're here!! I thought I would give a little introduction (or re-introduction for you long time blog followers!).

This blog originally started as a personal time capsule of my "nerdy space adventures" but, over the course of nearly 10 years has morphed into a place where we can all gather to experience life, share successes and failures, inspire each other, and root for those who may lack a cheering squad. I love writing about my journey to experience an exciting aerospace career while wrangling a chronic illness - Type 1 Diabetes. I have found that these two facets of my life go hand in hand, advancement in one often spurs advancement in the other. But, above all, this path has taught me to never give up, no matter what. Being a woman in an aerospace field is not always easy, and neither is Type 1 Diabetes, but there are communities of people out there (and right here, hi!) that totally and completely have your back. Together we have sparked STEM interest in youngsters (hi youngsters!) and challenged federal rules restricting Type 1 Diabetics in various positions. And we're not done yet!

My Aerospace Engineering career began in a triplewide trailer on an Army airfield in Huntsville, AL. Glamorous, right? I was the only female Flight Test Engineer in my group which, lucky for me, meant I got an entire restroom to myself, thankyouverymuch. But before I could hop on those hot rod helicopters I had to get a medical clearance through the Federal Aviation Administration. As a Type 1 Diabetic, the process was anything but smooth. I spent three and half years in Huntsville, learning the ins and outs of Flight Test Engineering, flying on experimental army aircraft and cultivating my burgeoning female-engineer confidence. I also married my rocket scientist husband and finished a Master's degree! Eventually, we decided to move a couple states away to Houston, TX to chase a few dreams - the highest priority being a job at NASA's Mission Control.

Which leads me to now. A transition from the operations of new flight hardware to the operations of
an incredibly complex machine flying through space - the International Space Station, and a job at NASA!!!! After lots of formal training (almost 2 years worth), and yes, more medical exams and waivers, I became a certified Attitude Determination and Control Officer of the International Space Station. Now, I am a Specialist and spend my time mentoring new ADCO trainees, teaching classes, sitting console for complex operations, and soon, leading my group as the ADCO Increment 58 Lead. And even though the ISS is almost 20 years old, the challenges keep coming - and solving problems is my favorite thing to do!

Outside of my career I am a super-proud-trying-to-hold-it-all-together mom of two little ones (2.5 years and 4 months!), a wife to an amazingly supportive husband, a piano dabbler, and a The Next Generation Star Trek fan. I also love decorating my house, reading, gardening, and designing DIY projects.

Leave a comment and let me know what led you here, what you're passionate about, or a guess on how fast we spin the ISS's control moment gyroscopes! I can't wait to hear from you!

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