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Rocket Scientist

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Uploaded on Sep 1, 2010

A pre-enrollment visit to NC State cinched Whitney's decision to pursue an engineering degree as a member of the Wolfpack. Now, two years later, Whitney's an aspiring rocket scientist with NASA work experience under her belt.

If starting a college career wasn't enough to keep her busy, Whitney also took on undergraduate research in her freshmen year. "I wanted to speed up the process of getting involved with engineering-specific courses — before sophomore year," she says.

Whitney did just that. Working alongside faculty, she has been focused on hypersonic or high-speed aero- and thermodynamics. In plain English, this means Whitney is examining heating rates and how thermal protection can allow space vehicles to successfully reenter the earth's atmosphere on their way back from zero gravity.

It seems the National Aeronautics and Space Administration likes Whitney's far-from-complacent approach. A lot. So much so, she has interned with the agency for the past two summers.

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