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Intern Spotlight: Anna Ladd McElhannon

Intern Highlight - Anna Ladd.jpeg
Anna Ladd McElhannon, 2022 NASA Henry Clay intern, is working in the Office of the Chief Scientist, helping improve NASA’s citizen science program. Credit: Lexi Nolletti

“When I was a freshman in college, my astronomy professor gave us an assignment to do a citizen science project- I believe it was Backyard Worlds: Planet 9.”

That was a key step on Anna Ladd McElhannon’s path to becoming a NASA intern. Now she is spending her summer working in the Office of the Chief Scientist, improving NASA’s citizen science webpages. We’re celebrating her work, and the contributions of all our NASA interns, today on National Intern day.

“My physics professor, Dr. Christopher Crawford, sent me the application for the Henry Clay NASA internship early in the Spring. Working for NASA has been my dream since I was eleven, so you can imagine how excited I was,” said McElhannon. “I realized this job would be perfect for combining my two passions: physics and creativity. Hopefully, it will also help prepare me for physics graduate school which I will be applying to this fall!”

McElhannon thanks her mentors for helping set her up for NASA success. “Besides Dr. Crawford and Dr Ronald Wilhelm (my research mentor for the past year), the person in my life who has guided me the most in the physics and creative worlds is my high school physics teacher, Mr. Mark Rush. I have been incredibly lucky to have such supportive mentors throughout my life who have encouraged me in countless ways.”

To learn more about NASA’s intern program, go to https://intern.nasa.gov/.

NASA’s Citizen Science Program:
Learn about NASA citizen science projects
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