Izabella Maxfield is on a mission to help students find opportunities with NASA.
Whether its internships, fellowships, competitions or workshops – Maxfield has the inside scoop and is eager to share what she knows.
The physics major was recently selected as the Florida Space Grant Consortium Student Ambassador for Florida Tech. In her role, she is tasked with being a conduit of information for students about the many opportunities with NASA through outreach, public speaking and engagement.
“I think the students will be pretty surprised at the opportunities with NASA that are available,” Maxfield said. There are opportunities everywhere; it’s just a matter of finding them.”
The NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium (FSGC) was formed in 1989 when NASA implemented the national Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. Each year, student ambassadors are selected from seventeen public and private Florida Universities to represent their school.
With a planned graduation date of 2019, Maxfield can’t imagine going into any other field than science and research. She hopes to work at NASA or NREL – the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
“I think I knew I wanted to have a career in science near the beginning of high school,” Maxfield said. “I didn’t know which science or what I wanted to do exactly, but I always had an affinity for science.”
As part of her ambassadorship, Maxfield will have the opportunity to attend various conferences and workshops. She will also have the chance to visit NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to meet with NASA scientists and engineers.
Opportunities with NASA Abound
“There are always opportunities within NASA it’s just the matter of finding them,” Maxfield said. “With the FSGC position I can help bring awareness to the students of some of these opportunities.”
Ambassadors meet every two months for a video conference with a FSGC representative to be updated on various NASA opportunities.
“I think space is so interesting because there is still so much left undiscovered. It is vast and limitless,” Maxfield said. “I think it is important because through our study of the stars we can find out more about ourselves. Plus, space is just pretty darn cool.”
One of her main goals is to convince fellow students that there is no reason to be intimidated by NASA.
“I feel like that is common feeling among a lot of people. Science is funny like that. And to be honest, sometimes I don’t even feel like I know what I’m doing but I don’t think it’s a matter of being smart enough, it all depends on how hard you are willing to work,” Maxfield said. “Students should not be scared of going for those opportunities. The worst that someone can tell you is no, and if you don’t try you really will never know what could have happened. Science can be big and scary sometimes, but it can also be a lot of fun. I am going to try and help change the perception of science and the opportunities available.”
To search for opportunities with NASA go to NASA OSSI.