Frostburg State University took to the stars for its 120th anniversary as one of the university’s alumnus spoke about his own ‘out of this world’ job.
Frostburg State University alumnus Ricky Arnold was once a teacher but landed himself a job as an NASA astronaut.
Arnold is out in space for a second time on a six-month mission for NASA, but that did not keep him from being down to earth.
“This day they will never forget and the opportunity to be able to talk to an astronaut is something very special,” Ron Nowaczyk, Frostburg State University president said.
The NASA astronaut took some time while in outer space to answer questions about education and spaceflight with Frostburg State University students as well as nearly 1200 middle schoolers in the area through a live downlink.
“Even though he is an astronaut at heart, he’s a teacher and he connects to the students,” Nowaczyk said.
“Just to know he is in space but like he’s taking time to talk to us is really cool,” Mary Wolodkin, an 8th grader at Bishop Walsh school said.
Following the session, the middle schoolers engaged in NASA and space related activities directed by students from the university who want to be teachers one day.
“Will understand that they can do anything that they want. And that they will learn that science and all that nerdy stuff is actually really cool,” Sarah Roderick, Frostburg State University student said.
And that message hit home for the middle schoolers.
“I have a pretty big dream in my life to be a become a professional cellist and seeing Ricky Arnold that he started out as a teacher and he worked super hard and look where he is now. That gives me the inspiration to keep going,” Genevieve Batman, an 8th grader at Bishop Walsh School said.
Arnold graduated in 1985 and was chosen as an astronaut in 2004.