(Source: Space Florida)

May 21, 2014

EXPLORATION PARK, FL (May 19, 2014) – Space Florida, the state’s spaceport authority and aerospace development organization, and the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium announced Friday the five Florida college students selected to participate in the 2014 Florida Space Internship Program, supporting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields at the university level. The internship program will take place at the Space Life Sciences Center (SLSL), located on Exploration Park property at Kennedy Space Center.

STEM internships last 10 weeks and run from June 2 through August 8, 2014. Interns will each receive a $5,000 sponsorship to pay for their participation in the program. Students participating in this year’s program include:

  1. Shaun Abdelkarim (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University) Project: Development of Microsensors for Biological Research” under the guidance of Dr. Andrew Schuerger (This project will be fully funded by the University of Florida)
  2. Mary Elizabeth Bishop (Florida State College at Jacksonville) Project: “Microgravity Induced Differential Gene Regulation in the Symbiotic Bacterium Vibrio Fisheri” under the guidance of Dr. Jamie Foster
  3. Kimberly Cranmore (University of Central Florida) Project: “Assessing the Impact of Microgravity on the Innate Immune System Using the Squid-Vibrio Model System” under the guidance of Dr. Jamie Foster
  4. Jessica Page (Florida Institute of Technology) Project: “Survival and Growth of Spacecraft Microorganisms Under Mars Simulated Conditions” under the guidance of Dr. Andrew Schuerger
  5. Fernando Valbuena (University of Central Florida) Project: “Aerobiology of Atmospheric Dusts Over Florida: A Possible Source of Contamination on Planetary Spacecraft at KSC” under the guidance of Dr. Andrew Schuerger

“The goal of this program is to help inspire and train Florida’s next-generation of aerospace engineers,” said Space Florida President Frank DiBello. “By working hand-in-hand with our state’s robust network of universities and SLSL research tenants, these internships offer an immersive experience that will give students a unique advantage when entering the work world.”

“This internship program is a great opportunity for students in Florida universities to get exposure to cutting-edge research conducted by researchers that are in line with NASA’s and the State of Florida’s priorities. This is a great example of a partnership between NASA (through FSGC) and the State of Florida (through Space Florida).”

To learn more about the Florida Space Internship Program, visit


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About Space Florida: Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida’s position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. As Florida’s spaceport authority and aerospace development organization, we are committed to attracting and expanding the next generation of space industry businesses. With its highly trained workforce, proven infrastructure and unparalleled record of achievement, Florida is the ideal location for aerospace businesses to thrive – and Space Florida is the perfect partner to help them succeed.


About Florida Space Grant Consortium: Florida Space Grant Consortium (FSGC) is a NASA sponsored program led by the University of Central Florida (UCF) and administered by the Florida Space Institute at UCF. It is a voluntary association of seventeen public and private Florida Universities and colleges. The Consortium also includes the Astronaut Memorial Foundation, Space Florida, Kennedy Space Center, and Orlando Science Center. FSGC supports the expansion and diversification of Florida’s space industry, through providing grants, scholarships, and fellowships to students and educators from Florida’s public and private institutes of higher education.

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