In The News


ECC Students Reaching for the Stars

In less than a month, 24 Essex County College students will continue their quest to the stars as participants in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program.

“These students successfully completed NASA’s five week online summer program. Now they are ready to go for the On-Campus Rover Competition workshop,” said Dr. Nidhal Marashi, ECC Chemistry Professor, and the PI and Program Coordinator. Dr. Marashi and ECC Physics Professor Nadia Lvov coached, advised, monitored, and mentored students during the summer portion of the program.

“Our students were hard working, motivated and determined to finish the summer course, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Marashi said. She proudly said that Essex County College was the only community college from NASA’s six pilot institutions to continue the program during the pandemic.

All 24 students have received their next step virtual rover competitions information which is scheduled to run from September 21 to October 1.

Dr. Marashi said the students will work on the rover project remotely in teams. The ECC students will work with participants from other colleges. “That’s a good opportunity for them to interact with students from around the country.”

“I congratulate all our students taking part in this amazing program. We were one of the first six community colleges to participate with NASA and we continue to provide our students with this unique opportunity. I also applaud Dr. Marashi and Professor Lvov on their dedication to the program and our students,” said Acting/Interim President Dr. Augustine Boakye.

Computer Information Systems major Mary Rodriguez found the summer work to be challenging and interesting. “I pretty much worked on the assignment every day for a couple of hours,” she said.

Mary is looking forward to the upcoming one week rover competition. The Newark resident said she has been interested in the work at NASA for quite awhile. “After graduation I have been looking into the graphics field, but NASA is a possibility.”

Bernice Bio heard from a couple of friends about the College’s program partnership with NASA. “I thought I would check it out and give it a shot,” said the Biology major from Newark. “Summer was very interesting and I’m looking forward to the next part this fall,” said Bernice.