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GUST Welcomes NASA Scientist

6 March 2018

GUST Global Studies Center (GSC), in coordination with the Embassy of the United States of America, announced today the successful presentation by leading scientist Nagin Cox, from NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory,  who provided insights into space exploration, Mars missions, and women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The seminar was attended by GUST management, faculty, staff, students, and the general public.


Head of the Global Studies Center at GUST, Dr. Martin Rosenstock, said, “It was an honor to collaborate with the U.S. Embassy, to bring in such an established scientist as Nagin Cox, from a prestigious institution like NASA. The audience thoroughly enjoyed the presentation, and learned a lot about the latest developments in the field. It is important to shed light on topics that we don’t come across on a daily basis, for GUST and the community as a whole, to stay aware and relevant in our fast paced world.”


Zainab “Nagin” Cox has been exploring since she decided as a teenager that she wanted to work at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She realized her dream and has been a Senior Spacecraft Operations Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for over 20 years. She has served as a systems engineer and manager on multiple interplanetary robotic missions; including the Galileo mission to Jupiter, Mars Exploration Rover missions, and the Kepler telescope mission to search for earth-like planets around other stars. Currently, Cox is a Mission Leader on the operations team for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover, which landed in August 2012 and has been exploring Mars ever since.


Senior NASA Engineer, Nagin Cox, said “I appreciate the opportunity to be here today. This is a remarkable time in the space program, and I am privileged to be able to work at JPL and share this vision with the world.”


For the presentation, Cox shared insights about the various missions from her extensive experience, touching on topics such as what it takes to put a robot on another planet, the technological requirements, and the effects on the human being managing the robot. Cox shared many humorous stories about the various aspects that come along with working on “a different planet” including time zone challenges, terminology, and effect on their personal lives. She also shared the collective goal of institutions such as NASA to have people not only go to Mars, but also other planets, and become “multi-planetary.”


In addition, Cox touched upon the challenges and benefits of having more women in the STEM fields, especially as she is a U.S. Department of State STEM Speaker who has spoken to audiences around the world on the stories of the people behind the missions.


Such unique discussions and events are continuously organized by the Global Studies Center, in an effort to provide new knowledge, stimulate research, aid in student development, and enhance the faculty’s campus experience. It is a leading research center on global studies in Kuwait and a vehicle for engaging both internal and external communities through events on stimulating issues.