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Posts Tagged ‘nicole stott’

Space Shuttle Discovery

Today is launch day for space shuttle Discovery as it goes into space for its final mission. This launch is particularly significant for St. Petersburg College because former SPC student and Clearwater resident Nicole Stott will be on board as a member of the crew.    

She was SPC’s commencement speaker at last June’s graduation.

Stott has invited several members of the SPC family to attend the launch at the Kennedy Space Center, and we plan on running a story about the experience in this week’s Blue & White. Meanwhile, be sure to follow the launch, which is scheduled for 4 p.m. today.

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Astronaut Nicole Stott speaks to graduates at St. Petersburg College’s commencement exercises on Saturday, May 8. Stott is a Clearwater native who graduated from Clearwater High School and attended SPC. Her first NASA space mission was last year, when she spent about four months on the International Space Station.

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Astronaut (and Clearwater native) Nicole Stott will be at Tropicana Field tomorrow (Saturday) to deliver the commencement address for graduates of St. Petersburg College.

Stott attended SPJC back in the 1980s and then went on the Embry Riddle, where she earned a degree in aeronautical engineering.

Last year she experienced her first NASA mission, visiting the International Space Station  and working there for about four months.

Aside from speaking at the ceremonies, Stott will be awarded and honorary degree and will be given an Outstanding Alumni award.

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Astronaut Nicole Stott, who spent four months on the International Space Station last year, has accepted St. Petersburg College’s invitation to deliver the commencement address at graduation ceremonies at Tropicana Field on May 8.

 “We are absolutely thrilled that Nicole Stott has agreed to speak at our spring commencement exercises, and we are looking forward to her visit with great anticipation,” said Acting President Tom Furlong. “We will be presenting her with an honorary degree at that time.”

 Stott’s employer, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), also had to approve her appearance, which they did last week. Since Stott is already in training for another Space Shuttle mission, that approval was not a sure thing.

 A former SPC student, Stott was enthusiastic about visiting the college and made her desires known to NASA.

 “I would be honored to do it,” Stott said in an e-mail to the college in January after the invitation was offered by Furlong.

 Stott grew up in Clearwater and graduated from Clearwater High School. She attended SPC (then SPJC) in the early 1980s because she wanted to learn how to fly and the college offered an aviation program that interested her.

 “When I got out of high school I knew I wanted to do something connected to flying, but I really didn’t know exactly what,” she said in an interview for last summer’s issue of SPC Today, the magazine of SPC’s alumni association. “At Clearwater High they had an introduction to aviation course, and through that I learned about the degree program at SPJC.”

 Although Stott went on to earn an engineering degree at Embry Riddle and didn’t graduate from SPJC, she has remained enthusiastic about the college and remembers her time here with fondness. She even offered to carry an SPC banner on her space mission, which she did. She photographed the banner over a Space Station porthole and e-mailed the photo to SPC after her return.

 She is expected to present the banner to SPC during her visit.

 Details of her daylong visit are now being negotiated.

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