By Contributing Writer Kylie Cooper.
NASA astronaut and UMass Dartmouth alumnus Scott Tingle ‘87 is coming to campus to discuss his experience in space and to answer questions from the UMass Dartmouth community.
The discussion will be held in the Main Auditorium on November 15 from 11 a.m. to noon. Students, faculty, staff, and the public are welcome.
“We’re always looking to create opportunities for students to meet and hear from our alumni who have been successful out there and embody what a UMass Dartmouth degree can mean,” said John Hoey, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs.
Tingle graduated from UMass Dartmouth in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. As a Navy pilot, he was selected by NASA in 2009 as a member of their 20th astronaut class. Tingle spent 168 days aboard the International Space Station from December 17, 2017 to June 3, 2018 as the Flight Engineer for Expedition 54/55, conducting experiments focused on a variety of scientific questions and going on spacewalks.
This past March, the UMass Dartmouth community had the opportunity to ask Tingle questions about life 254 miles above Earth through a live satellite downlink from the International Space Station. The call aired live on NASA Television and the space agency’s website.
Now, Tingle is back on Earth and people are buzzing to ask him questions in-person. “We’re inviting the whole community,” Hoey said. “We’re making a special effort to reach out to middle schools and high schools.”
The efforts are working: a high school recently confirmed their attendance of 160 students.
“We want to excite young people about science and engineering,” Hoey explained. College of Engineering students will have a further opportunity to learn about Tingle’s story and pose questions at a session that will be held after the public discussion.
At its heart, however, Tingle’s visit to campus aims to unite people of all majors, interests, and ages.
“Anyone sitting in audience listening to him talk about his career and his life and his service to the country will be inspired,” said Hoey, who has heard Tingle speak before.
At the time of this article’s writing, the approximately 500 people who have already RSVP’d to the discussion event will be inspired by Tingle’s story. The auditorium is expected to reach its capacity of 800 people.
People are urged to RSVP through an online link that can be found on the UMass Dartmouth website. Questions may also be submitted for Tingle through the link.
On holding similar discussion events like this in the future, Hoey answered with confidence and an unquestionable pride for UMass Dartmouth.
“We’re always trying to bring back inspirational and successful alumni.”