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Norfolk, VA. (June 27, 2022) – The Virginia Institute for Spaceflight & Autonomy (VISA) is excited to announce the award of two summer internships for the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA). The two interns were funded by VISA and selected through the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC), due to their extensive internship experience. VISA and VCSFA have partnered together to bring this internship experience to fruition.
These internships will support the VCSFA in the areas of Public Relations/Media-Communications Technology and Financial/Accounting. The two students chosen for these internships are Brandon Hedgepeth, an Old Dominion University student, who will be helping with public relations and potential video production; and Kyler Forrest, a Radford University student, who will be helping with online payments, purchase orders and other financial related duties.
Brandon Hedgepeth is an Old Dominion University undergraduate student, majoring in Multi-Media Technologies, and will be interning as an External Relations Specialist. Brandon is a digital content creator, with a focus on podcasting, and is excited to use his skillsets to help tell the stories of others and highlighting Hampton Roads. Brandon is part of ODU’s linked program, which allows him to simultaneously work towards achieving a bachelor’s and master’s degree program during his senior year. Currently, Brandon is a student senator and a member of ODU’s Student Engagement & Enrollment Services (SEES) Student Leadership Council. After college, Brandon plans to start his own company that would allow him to continue with his personal content creation and telling the stories of others.
Kyler Forrest is a Radford University undergraduate student, majoring in Marketing and Finance, with a concentration in real estate and insurance. Kyler will work as an Accounting Specialist Intern. Kyler is a first-generation college student and is interested in learning more about the accounting world. He is the President of the Sigma Pi fraternity and Vice President of Operations for the Student Managed Investment Portfolio Organization (SMIPO). After graduation, Kyler plans to pursue a sales-oriented career, which aligns with his majors.
About VISA: The Virginia Institute for Spaceflight & Autonomy (VISA) is chartered to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystems for space flight and autonomy. The Institute will be the hub to leverage Virginia’s world-class assets in space launch, autonomous systems, modeling and simulation and data science to solve real-world problems. Through industry, academic and governmental agency partnerships, our vision is to create an environment of research, technology, commercialization and educational opportunities to grow the spaceflight and autonomous systems industry.
About VCSFA: The Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA), also known as ‘Virginia Space,’ is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia Space owns and operates the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) and the MARS UMS Airfield. Virginia Space aims to provide and is proud to offer full-service launch and drone testing facilities for commercial, government, scientific and academic users. The mission of Virginia Space is to serve as a driver for Virginia’s New Economy by providing safe, reliable, and responsive space Access at competitive prices, and secure facilities for testing of unmanned vehicles for integration into the National Air Space.
About VSGC: The Virginia Space Grant Consortium is a coalition of five Virginia colleges and universities, NASA, state educational agencies, and other institutions representing diverse science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), aerospace, and other high-technology interests. VSGC acts as an umbrella organization, coordinating and developing STEM educational, workforce development and research efforts throughout the Commonwealth, and connecting Virginia’s effort to a national community of shared interests. VSGC offers programs to both precollege and higher education students and provides teacher professional development programs as well. VSGC coordinates, supports and places students in paid internships, student flight and design projects, research experiences, and other experiential learning opportunities in support of Virginia’s workforce development and economic growth. To date, VSGC has placed more than 6000 students in paid internship experience with industry and NASA.