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Mississippi student selected by NASA for prestigious internship – Picayune Item

Mississippi student selected by NASA for prestigious internship

Posted 9:59am on Thursday, August 25, 2022

August 23, 2022 (HUNTSVILLE, Ala.) – NASA is using the expertise of University of Belhaven computer science student Sam Williams. Williams, an aspiring senior software/cybersecurity engineer, has been selected for NASA’s highly competitive Pathways internship.

Since January 2022, he has been working with NASA both online and on their campus in Huntsville, Alabama. His main duties included enterprise architecture and cybersecurity as part of the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Engineering Computing Resource Office.

“NASA has been a beacon of technical innovation since its inception, and the opportunity to work with NASA’s Computing Division provides incredible industry experience for any aspiring computer scientist,” said Dr. John Estes, Chairholder of Mathematics and Computer Science from Belhaven, Professor of Mathematics and Director of Engineering Partnerships.

NASA Pathways is a co-op program that consists of multiple work rotations and jobs that are taken throughout college. Williams plans to continue with NASA until the end of the summer and go to school full time in the fall. Its final rotation will end in the spring of 2023.

Williams said: “We are approaching the launch of the Artemis 1 this summer, so it is a particularly exciting time to work in the engineering division!

Over the summer, Williams was able to tour NASA facilities. He toured the Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC), which handles payload operations aboard the International Space Station. Williams said: “I also visited the main additive manufacturing facilities, where the majority of Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) 3D printing is done. It was all the more interesting as I spent a lot of time working with them during this rotation.

Estes adds, “Belhaven’s Mathematics and Computer Science department emphasizes the value of interacting with professionals from day one. With hands-on skills projects and guest speakers from industry, Belhaven students learn to define a vision for life after college, and we, as a community, help meet the demands of that vision. Such a culture encourages computer science students to pursue internships like Sam’s.”

Williams is originally from Brandon, Mississippi and a resident of Jackson. He worked as a penetration tester at a cybersecurity company based in Clinton, Mississippi.