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NASA Engineer Emphasizes Importance of Experience

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Seshadri Ramkumar, Professor, Texas Tech University, USA

work-experienceLittle experiences in life add-up and cultivates leadership. Speaking last Friday, December 13, 2019 at the Fall Commencement at Texas Tech University, Ms. Ginger Kerrick, Flight Integration Division Chief, NASA Johnson Space Center and a member of Board of Regents, Texas Tech University System (TTUS) highlighted the vital role experience plays in life and career. Leadership roles shape-up well based on experience and effective communication. Staying in touch with alma mater is important as it helps with career and life was the essence of short speech by Ms. Kerrick, who has the distinction of being NASA’s first Russian training integration instructor and provided support to the first crew to live onboard on the international space station. On a personal note, it was such a relish to be part of the solemn and joyful event and witness my student Lihua Lou receiving Ph.D. for her work on functional nanofibers for human health enhancement and environmental protection.

Chris Snead, vice president of operations, TTU alumni association highlighted the usefulness of planning. “Be ready to change if best laid out plans don’t work,” advised Snead. Five valuable points highlighted by Snead will serve researchers, administrators and business leaders well: 1) Positive attitude, 2) Persistent effort, 3) Passion to succeed, 4) Preparation and 5) Meeting deadlines and punctuality. Walking through his days in college, Snead advised to keep reinventing as change happens all the time.

J. Michael Lewis, business leader and vice chair of Board of Regents of TTUS gave a sage advice to be a lifelong learner. Experience, reinventing in times of need and lifelong learning are valuable tools for success in industry and life.

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