NPS showcases Hartnell students' transformative STEM internships

Publish Date: 
Dec 7, 2018

Hartnell students’ life-changing experiences in internships at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey are highlighted in the fall 2018 edition of NPS In Review magazine. Over the 12 years since the Naval school began its Community College Catalyst (3C) program, 31 percent of 600 participating interns have come from Hartnell. The college recognized this benefit in 2008 when it awarded NPS the President’s Partnership in Excellence Award. In turn, the NPS website describes Hartnell as being “among the top community colleges in the country in promoting and achieving success for its underrepresented students in the STEM disciplines.”

The recent magazine article includes the stories of five Hartnell graduates, each of whom describe how an internship at NPS proved pivotal in their educational and career paths. They are: Casi Martin, now a Naval intelligence specialist at Fort Meade, Md., whose immigrant grandmother insisted she take computer science at Hartnell; Miles Hansen, who continued on to UC-Santa Cruz and has since worked as a systems engineer in Silicon Valley; Aaron Lopez, now an astro-seismologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Lauren Polo, who earned a degree in astronautics from Cal Poly-SLO and is now an aerospace engineer with Northrup Grumman; and Genaro Sanchez, now an electrical engineer for Zodiac Aerospace in Santa Maria.

Also featured is Hartnell computer science professor Joe Welch, a retired Navy flight officer who also teaches at NPS and helped foster Hartnell’s involvement with NPS. It quotes Superintendent/President Dr. Willard Lewallen, who credits the STEM internship program with being “a key ingredient in the success of these students.”