Jessica Vann graduated in 2020 with an Environmental Science Systems degree. With this program of study, you might expect Jessica’s future goals to be rooted in studying water movement across the globe, volcanic activity, or the interaction between society, resources, and the natural environment...on earth. Not so. Jessica is looking to the stars, literally, as she aspires to be an astronaut and if not that, someone contributing to planetary science research and study. Le Moyne graduate, Jeanette Epps, is one of her role models.
On her time here on the Heights, Jessica shares: I was a transfer student, so I haven't been here as long as some of the other rising seniors. That said, in the time that I have been here, I have worked extremely hard, pushed myself to be my best, and perhaps above all, discovered my passions. My time here has allowed me to learn different ways of thinking, and this has benefited me when it comes to working in teams whose members have backgrounds in multiple disciplines of study."
And Jessica is rocketing upward as her resume reveals -- two NASA programs so far, plus her latest triumph, working for the summer at the NASA Stennis Space Center in Pearlington, Mississippi. “These programs have given me insight into what it is like to work for an agency like NASA, as well as helped to instill in me a confidence that I only wish I had developed back in high school. It is this confidence that serves as proof that I am on the right path.“ This experience will help her further connect with the NASA program and her vocational goals.
But it is not all about outer space, Jessica comes down to earth when she reflects further on her experience at Le Moyne. “Le Moyne has taught me different ways of thinking. By taking courses in theology and philosophy, I have learned how to theorize and communicate ideas in more holistic ways. This allows me to see multiple perspectives as well as be able to consider several options at a time, as well as to improve my teamwork skills. This is important, as researching (and working in space) is rarely a solo activity.” Her advice to fellow ‘Phins: “As cliche as it sounds, never give up and don't doubt yourself.”
Environmental Systems Science