Abraham Lincoln statue on Carthage College?s campus.
Jennifer Kibler, deputy director of intelligent flight systems at Langley Research Center in Virg...
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Carthage’s summer research students, including those in the nationally recognized space science program, got the chance to meet with a senior NASA executive who filled them in on the agency’s many career opportunities.

SURE students gather in a classroom to learn about NASA careers. SURE students gather in a classroom to learn about NASA careers. Jennifer Kibler, deputy director of intelligent flight systems at Langley Research Center in Virginia, visited campus July 27. After discussing the NASA-affiliated projects that Carthage students took on in summer 2023, she gave a presentation and answered questions.

“I want you to consider working with us,” Ms. Kibler told a group of about 30 students who are taking part in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program. Participants work closely with a faculty advisor on a new or developing line of research.

From a high school internship to her current role, Ms. Kibler described the “circuitous path” her rewarding career has taken at NASA. Along with researchers and engineers, she emphasized that the agency needs promising graduates with expertise in law, procurement, communications, and other essential areas.

“It’s hard to tell what opportunities exist in a huge government agency,” said Jordan Bopp ’26, who’s working on the Propellant Refueling and On-orbit Transfer Operation (PROTO) team. “To have someone condense it so I can understand what opportunities are available to me was really helpful.”

Jennifer Kibler meets with a small group of students to answer questions. Jennifer Kibler meets with a small group of students to answer questions.

More than a dozen Carthage students have interned at NASA in the past several years, and several alumni work for the agency in support of its return to the moon initiative.