Faculty Research Assistant, UMD
What's the coolest thing about EPOXI?
The fact that we're actually looking at a planetary body that's traveled from the outskirts, beyond where we reside, of our solar system is very amazing and so cool to me. I am in awe to watch as it approaches perihelion where we can watch it and see it in action!
Why do you like working at the University of Maryland?
I enjoy working in University of Maryland's Depratment of Astronomy, in a team-based environment where so much exchange takes place. For me it's a constant intake of new concepts, exposure to the science culture, and a great place to develop as a scientist.
What is your job on the EPOXI mission?
My role in the EPOXI mission has been to run photometry on our images of the comet and produce lightcurves. This allows the team to look at and study the light coming from the comet, determining its composition and activity.
How did you end up in Space Science?
I got into space science because it was always a fascination of mine to visit outer space and know what it's like beyond our unique and wonderful Earth. But how wonderfully different are other places beyond here?
What do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time I play music (piano and guitar), make video/visual/audio productions, and also enjoy being outdoors and visiting historical/popular sites.
Who in your life inspired you?
My life has been inspired by my mother, Jacqueline Williams.
What is one yet-to-be achieved life goal?
I've yet to achieve the goal of composing and producing marching band music. That would be so awesome, and I hope to do so at some point.
Were you science-oriented as a young person?
I was certainly science oriented when young. I was a sequential thinker and loved to explore how things function, especially outside.
What was your favorite book as a young person?
I'm not a huge reader but one book from my HS reading list stood out for me: Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody.
Verifying data as it came down from the spacecraft was an important chore during encounter.
L-R: Megan Bruck, Lucy McFadden, Jade Williams
Credit: Elizabeth Warner/UMD
What did you want to become when you were young?
When young, I decided I wanted to become an astronaut.
If you weren't working in space exploration now, what might you be doing?
If not working in space exploration now, I'd be working in archeology or doing music performance.