Thursday, November 13, 2008

Le Woo-hoo

An update for my recent post about NASA student ambassadors:

The 2009 Launch Conference for the International Year of Astronomy is in Paris. Student ambassadors from all over the world will be there, including two from the United States. There's a seminar on "The Question of Parallel Universes." And a live video conference with the South Pole Station. And a session with a Nobel prize winner in physics.

And my daughter is one of the two U.S. students invited to attend.

Geek out!

Here's the full schedule for the two-day event.

I asked her if there would be a cheesy but satisfying medal ceremony like at the end of the original Star Wars movie, and she laughed. But that's exactly how we both feel about it. Woo-hoo!!!

Below: Rebecca at age 8, having her birthday party at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton, VA. (That's her in the center, of course.)

The press release:


WASHINGTON -- Forty-six undergraduate and graduate students have been
selected to represent NASA in their local communities as recipients
of the agency's International Year of Astronomy, or IYA, Student
Ambassadors Program.

Two of the students were chosen to attend the opening ceremonies of an
IYA event in Paris in January 2009. The students representing NASA at
the ceremonies are Rebecca Holmes, a sophomore at the University of
North Carolina Chapel Hill who is majoring in physics and astronomy,
and Norberto Gonzalez, a junior at the University of Puerto Rico at
Arecibo with a biology concentration.

The IYA Student Ambassadors Program is designed to encourage
undergraduate and graduate students to participate in IYA activities
and generate excitement about NASA's discoveries in astrophysics,
planetary science and solar physics within their local communities
and beyond. These students will serve as role models to others.

"NASA is a major partner in the United States' celebration of IYA
activities," said Hashima Hasan, NASA's Astrophysics education and
public outreach lead in Washington. "The Student Ambassadors Program
is just one of many activities the agency has planned throughout the
coming year."

The ambassadors were selected from more than 150 online applications.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens, full-time students and participate
in activities that align with NASA's IYA goals.

The National Space Grant Foundation manages the IYA Student
Ambassadors Program through a grant from NASA. For more information
about NASA's involvement and a list of student ambassadors, visit:

For more information about NASA and its programs, visit:


  1. Hurray! I wish I could say something appropriately celebratory in French! Rebecca must be so excited. I hope you both will share her story.

    Congrats to you, proud Mama. She wouldn't be where she is without you!

  2. OMG!! Congrats to Rebecca!! C'est fantastique!

  3. Sara,

    Paris! WOW!!! You're daughter must be so excited. It's rewarding to see our daughters succeed at things they've worked hard for.

    How's the proud mother doing? Still on cloud nine?

  4. What an opportunity! Good for your daughter! And look at how cute she is back in the day in her sunflower dress (which I now covet).

  5. She did it! Congrats! I'm geeking out with you. How I'd love to hear "The First Moment: As the Universe came into being."

  6. You must be so proud. And deservingly so. Congratulations!!

  7. That is AMAZING Sara. I'm so happy for you both.

  8. Thanks for being proud with me. I'll be sure to pass your good wishes on to her. And my shopping list. What do I want from Paris????

  9. oh man oh man oh man I want to go to Paris to cheer your daughter on!! Amazing. Though no more amazing than her incredible mom!

  10. That is so awesome!! Congrats, Sara, and congrats to your daughter. Wow--astronomy, Paris...makes me kind of wish I'd decided to study science!

  11. Wow o wow o wow!!!!! This is exciting and thrilling and things that dreams are made of! Congratulations to your daughter. And to an incredible mom who let her daughter know she can.

  12. That is just about the coolest thing I have ever heard. What an amazing daughter you have and what a proud mom you must be!

  13. You must be so proud of her! That is amazing; what a tremendous life experience she will have!


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