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A first-year Mechatronics student at West Virginia Northern Community College’s Weirton campus has been awarded an internship through NASA and is working this summer at the Touchstone Research Laboratory in Triadelphia.
As a Northern student, David T. Craig, 23, of Weirton, learned about the NASA/West Virginia Space Grant Consortium sponsored opportunity when he attended an internship fair in Fairmont. He began his internship at Touchstone on May 16.
Russell Edwards, Mechatronics instructional specialist/program director at Northern, said Craig’s outstanding academic route began when he was still in high school. The Steubenville native, son of David A. and Linda Craig, decided to opt out of high school by earning his GED. Craig said instead of finishing high school he entered Franciscan University of Steubenville at the age of 16 and after four years received bachelors of arts in English and in German.
Craig said he originally pursued graduate school opportunities in Linguistics upon graduating Franciscan with a 3.8 GPA in both majors but decided to pursue a career in technology and switched to the Mechatronics program at WVNCC, where he made the President’s List with a 4.0 GPA in his first year.
He said he is “exceptionally excited” to participate in the NASA summer internship program. Craig said he hopes to transfer the knowledge and skills acquired at Northern to the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering program at West Virginia University and from there to a career in space exploration.
Dr. Vicki L. Riley, president of West Virginia Northern, upon meeting Craig, congratulated him on his academic achievements. “We are proud you are here. We know you’ll be very successful,” she told him.