Name: Nolan Roth
Hometown: Yutan, Nebraska
Year: Class of 2020
Internship: Roth is interning with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center as a planetary environments laboratory intern in Greenbelt, Maryland. He is researching at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and working with a team of scientists and engineers to manufacture and test a new space probe instrument to analyze the elemental composition of mineral grains on extra-terrestrial bodies. His position requires him to venture into a secure NASA cleanroom to synthesize delicate silicon wafer microchips inset with platinum and gold channels, control a high-voltage testing chamber to find precision measurements of cold-cathode current emissions, and pull from his past HPU research experience to carefully measure the micron-scale heights of carbon nanotube forests.
How HPU helped you get there: “HPU provides me with the experience, mentorship and friends that push me to be better and keep reaching. In the words of my once-roommate and now HPU graduate Michael Welter, HPU has shown me that I should choose to be diligent and compassionate and choose to take calculated risks without being afraid to ask others for help. I should never be afraid to choose to take the tough road. Because of HPU, I choose to be successful and to be extraordinary. That mindset is what HPU has given me.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “It is difficult for me to choose just one mentor when I’ve been helped by so many people. From the moment I met him in my senior year of high school, Dr. Aaron Titus has been a huge influence in my life as a role model and friend. He is an integral part of the community in the physics department at HPU and someone that I look up to every day. He has shown that I should pursue physics to better the lives of others, and he has taught me that physics really is fun! The second mentor I would like to acknowledge was a fellow student, my roommate and friend, Michael Welter. Michael has shown me that the best leaders aren’t always perfect and that sometimes everything seems to go wrong, but you have to make the best of the choices that present themselves. Hard work can accomplish the impossible. Whenever I give a tour to a prospective student at HPU, I strive to show them that HPU has surrounded me with people who care, whether it be faculty, staff or other students. It has introduced me to people that have shaped who I am today, certainly for the better, and has helped me grow into the role I hold now.”
What has your internship experience been like, and how is it preparing you for your future?: “My time at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has been unlike anything I have ever experienced. Goddard is one of the leading technical research institutes for NASA’s space exploration missions, and as part of that, it holds thousands of scientific minds dedicated to collaboration and the expansion of our horizons. In my short time here, I have already met incredible people and been introduced to amazing opportunities to gain experiences that would never be presented anywhere else. I have gotten a sneak-peek at what life is like outside of being a student and the independence and responsibility it requires. I’ve talked to doctorates and long-time researchers about post-graduate life and have gained shimmering words of wisdom from all of them.”