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Intern Spotlight


Name and Location of Internship:

Name: Universities Space Research Association Cosmic Times Editor

Located: Media Center at Chesapeake High School

Job title/department:

Title: Editor of Cosmic Times;

Department: N/A

Supervisor's name and title:

Supervisor: Dr. James Lochner, Astrophysicist and Group Leader for Education/Public Outreach

Tell me about yourself:

I am a curious and inquisitive individual that enjoys learning for the sake of learning. From a young age I have been interested in space and general astronomy and that love blossomed into a deeply held passion. I am a high school senior and I plan on pursuing a degree and career in Astrophysics.

Why did you choose to pursue an internship?

I sincerely wanted to continue to push myself during my senior year. While many may use this opportunity, justifiably so, to maintain a less rigorous academic career, I could not do so. I could not allow myself to not push myself to my fullest potential. When I found there were not enough classes I was interested in, I decided to make my own. It both aligns with my interests and will be a fun, yet rightfully challenging project to undertake.

Daily internship duties:

● Brainstorming

● Research

● Writing

● Editing

● Graphic design

Coolest project you worked on:

2019 Cosmic Times Poster

One thing you have learned that you will take with you:

From this internship, I have been able to consistently develop a wide variety of useful skills that will provide utility long after this internship. Skills like critical thinking, research practices, writing concise yet informative, editing capabilities, and graphical design skills.

Best piece of advice you would give to a junior who is looking to pursue an internship:

If you wish to pursue an internship, you ought to ensure that it coincides with your interests. Regardless of talent or skill set (those come with time and practice), doing something you thoroughly enjoy is the key to a successful internship, education, and career.

Describe one experience at your internship that you will never forget:

I will never forget those around me who pushed me to be what I wanted to be, even if I sometimes didn’t know how to be that. They allowed me to have opportunities I never imagined and never knew I would enjoy.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to receive my doctorate/Ph.D. in Astrophysics or a related field at a university with expertise in such.

Testimonial from Supervisor

Austin Humphreys is a Chesapeake High School senior who is dedicated to learning and furthering his education goals for a career as an astrophycist. From his interest in physics and astronomy, for his internship he is writing a series of brief articles on the latest discoveries in astronomy. He is modeling his project after NASA’s Cosmic Times, which through a series of posters resembling newspaper front pages tells the story of how our knowledge about the universe has changed over the past 100 years. For his 2019 edition, Austin has researched the latest developments in gravitational waves from black holes, the first ever image of a black hole, the possible nature of dark matter which surrounds the galaxies, and the different values for the rate of the expansion of the universe. Writing in the style for a newspaper, articles, his articles are succinct but clear in describing how our knowledge is advancing. Austin has worked diligently on this project, working to make the articles accurate and understandable. In addition to this project, Austin is also active in his leadership of the Astronomy Club, promoting an interest in astronomy to other high school students.