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Student Success

Sooner or later, NCSSM senior Eleanor “Ellie” Murray realizes, the earth will become uninhabitable. Whether it’s human-caused catastrophes that drive us away or the last gasps of the sun, we’ll all have to pack our bags for a new home outside the solar system.

“If we’re going to do that,” Ellie says, “we may as well lay the groundwork now.”

Ellie is the latest in a line of Unicorn women who have looked to the stars. In the 1980s, a few years before coming to NCSSM, now-retired long-time chemistry instructor Myra Halpin was among a short list of teachers chosen by NASA to compete for the distinction of being the first teacher in space. Joeletta Patrick, a 1992 graduate of NCSSM, served as a flight engineer for the International Space Station. And at this very moment, Christina Hammock Koch ’97 is 250 miles above the surface of the earth in that same space station, traveling at more than 17,000 miles per hour.

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Originally published Aug. 29, 2019.