Ever since her mother introduced her to the utopian vision of Star Trek, Lindsey Wiser has known she wanted to study space.
This summer, the Johns Hopkins University junior will have the opportunity to continue her exploration of the final frontier with a paid internship at the National Air and Space Museum, courtesy of the Brooke Owens Fellowship program.
The fellowship places female students in paid summer internships at leading space and aviation companies across the U.S. Wiser was named one of the 38 recipients out of hundreds of applicants. During the internship, she will be paired with a researcher who is currently studying the planets and moons of our solar system.
At Hopkins, Wiser's research involves the study of exoplanets—planets that orbit other stars. A major in engineering mechanics, she is currently working with the new James Webb Space Telescope using simulations to determine its accuracy at determining the atmospheres of other planets.
"I think people are so focused on our own planet without realizing how much bigger the universe is," Wiser said. "I like the idea of putting everything that's happening here into perspective."
Wiser is the third Hopkins student to receive the fellowship in the past two years. Last year, Sophia Porter and Courtney Schmitt interned at Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, respectively. This year, the two started a Hopkins chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.
Wiser, who serves as vice president of the organization, said it was Porter and Schmitt who encouraged her to apply for the fellowship. Wiser has the "Brookie-factor," Porter said, and she'll excel at the Air and Space Museum.
"All of the other women who have been selected for it have been absolutely amazing," Wiser said. "The mentors who help the students along the way are all incredible."
Following the fellowship, Wiser said, she plans to pursue a PhD in planetary science and hopes to find a job that allows her to combine her passions for engineering, science, and policy.
The Brooke Owens Fellowship aims to boost the careers of women who "aspire to explore our sky and stars, to shake up the aerospace industry, and to help their fellow men and women here on planet Earth." The award, created in 2017, is named in honor of Dawn Brooke Owens, a space industry pioneer and accomplished pilot who died in 2017 of cancer at 36.