The final frontier
Trinity Allen (07C) has career aspirations that are out of this world.
"I would love to design a mission to Mars that I follow through from initial planning to actual flight," she explained.
Farfetched? Not for Trinity, who already has enjoyed some amazing firsthand experiences as an intern for NASA. In that capacity, Trinity made memories to last a lifetime while still working toward her undergraduate degree in physics and mathematics at Berry.
"My goal when I came to Berry was to work for NASA," she explained. "I never thought I would have the opportunity to do so before graduation."
The satisfaction she felt while standing in the world's largest wind tunnel or working to develop a program to help understand and interpret data received from unmanned Martian probes confirmed Trinity's desire to pursue a career with NASA. Today, she is progressing toward that goal as a Ph.D. candidate in geology and planetary sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She also serves as a NASA student ambassador, promoting space exploration and astronomy at colleges nationwide. That role brought her back to Berry this spring.
Trinity still has fond memories of her undergraduate days, recalling active involvement in the Astronomy Club, Physics Club, Dead Poets Society and Canterbury Club. She also volunteered in a soup kitchen, taught mountain biking, conducted research and worked in the Berry Outdoor Leadership Development office – all while excelling in physics classes that were more difficult than the ones she has encountered in graduate school.
"We spent an entire semester learning what we covered in two weeks at Berry," she stated.
Thanks to the solid foundation provided by her Berry education, Trinity is now well on her way to joining other distinguished alumni who have gone on to successful careers at NASA. As she follows in their footsteps, she already finds herself grappling with some of the most fundamental questions facing humanity: Are we alone? Is there other life out there?
"I hope so," she exclaimed. "We're finding new solar systems every day, and we might still find life in our own."
— Story by Leigh Harris (09C)