Northeast Lakeview College Student Selected to participate in NASA Virtual Experience

November 9, 2023

NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) selected Justin Henkel to attend the NCAS Mission 2: Exploration Simulation, October 19 – 26, 2023.

Henkel’s successful completion of a five-week online NCAS course earned him a spot to participate in the online Mission 2: Exploration Simulation. Henkel is one out of hundreds of community college students from across the country to participate in the virtual experience.

Selected community college students learn more about NASA’s missions and careers in science and engineering throughout the virtual experience. Students form teams and design a mission to explore the Moon or Mars. Each student team joins a design team, fulfills a team role, manages a budget, and develops communication and outreach strategies. Students also attend events hosted by NASA subject matter experts, receive information on how to apply for NASA internships, and virtually tour NASA’s unique facilities during the event.

The Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP, funds NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars. MUREP commits to engaging underrepresented and underserved students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) with authentic learning experiences to sustain a diverse workforce. 

 With this activity, NASA continues the tradition of engaging the nation in its mission of human exploration and sustainable expansion across the solar system and bringing new knowledge and opportunities back to Earth. 

“NCAS inspires community college students to advance in STEM fields, and it also opens doors for future careers at NASA. NCAS alumni can often move on to NASA internships and possibly ultimately enter the NASA workforce. It is rewarding to see the progression of a student from NCAS participant to NASA colleague,” says Torry Johnson, Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Manager.  

“I'd describe the NCAS program as the best recruitment drive I've ever been to. I got to meet so many different people of so many different specialties, hear their stories, and learn from their experiences,” says Justin Henkel. “It's a life-changing experience,” he added “that has inspired me to take a good hard crack at working at NASA, and I'm proud to call myself a NCAS Alumni. “

After NLC, Justin plans to transfer to Texas A&M full-time for Computer Science with an Engineering focus. He also hopes to land a NASA internship. He says that his long-term goal is to enjoy what he is doing while providing for himself and his family, but still enjoying life.  He hopes to one day settle down on a ranch, raise a family, and live a good life.

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About Northeast Lakeview College

Established in 2007 as one of the five Alamo Colleges, Northeast Lakeview College provides access to quality academic programs and career and technical courses that prepare students for future success in in-demand careers. The College serves more than 8,200 students from northeast San Antonio and Bexar, Comal, and Guadalupe Counties. Offering a wide selection of degrees, certificates, pre-majors, and programs such as cyber defense, social media, logistics, and pre-nursing, students completing Northeast Lakeview College have the skills they need to transition to the workplace or transfer their credits to the university. NLC has two locations.  Its main campus is located at (1201 Kitty Hawk Rd.) and an off-site location in New Braunfels (2193 FM758)