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SPS Public Lecture in Physics: NASA Flight Director Ginger Kerrick

November 5, 2015 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM   |   Location: Wupperman Little Theatre, Schuech Fine Arts Center

SPS Public Lecture in Physics: NASA Flight Director Ginger Kerrick

Ginger Kerrick, former NASA Flight Director and current Assistant Director for the International Space Station in the Flight Operations Directorate, presents the 2015 SPS Public Lecture Physics about her work at NASA and working as a woman in a STEM field.

Kerrick will be on campus during a momentous week in NASA history marking 15 years of continuous human presence on the station. Since Nov. 2, 2000, there has been a continuous human presence in space, as NASA astronauts and their international partners work off the Earth, for the Earth. Check out the ISS 15th Anniversary Human Habitation infographic from NASA to mark the occasion.

This event was streamed live. Watch the lecture on YouTube.

A native Texan, Kerrick was born in El Paso and earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in physics from Texas Tech University in Lubbock. After interning at NASA, then starting as a materials research engineer, she went on to earn the NASA Silver Snoopy Award, Superior Achievement Award and Exceptional Achievement Award. She was the first non-astronaut International Space Station Capsule Communicator in Houston Mission Control and the first female Hispanic Flight Director.

Get to know Ginger Kerrick as she talks about her childhood growing up in El Paso and what motivates her in her as one of the Women at NASA.

About Ginger Kerrick

Ginger Kerrick began working for NASA/Johnson Space Center as a summer intern in 1991 and a co-op in 1992. She started her first permanent assignment at JSC in May of 1994 with the Safety, Reliability and Quality Assurance (SR&QA) directorate as a Materials Research Engineer. In September 1995 she was reassigned to the Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) as an instructor for the International Space Station (ISS) Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS). Her responsibilities included training development, simulator development, and training conduct for both crew and flight controllers.

In December of 1997, she was selected for a newly-formed position, Russian Training Integration Instructor (RTII), which was designed to address the integration of Russian and US training programs for all Expedition Crews, with special focus on the Expedition 1 crew. She supported all Expedition 1 training both in the US and Russia. This experience enabled her to provide integration not only in the area of crew training, but also assist the operations community with the integration of US and Russian displays, procedures, and operations nomenclature. Following the launch of the Expedition 1 crew, she supported operations from Mission Control Center, Moscow (MCC-M) as a Crew Support Engineer.

Shortly after the Expedition 1 crew’s return to Earth in March of 2001, she was presented with a unique opportunity – to become the first non-astronaut ISS Capcom (short for Capsule Communicator) in Mission Control Center, Houston (MCC-H). As a member of the Capcom Branch she worked console for Expeditions 3 – 11, and held positions as the Expedition 5 Lead Capcom, ISS Lead Capcom, and Capcom Deputy Branch Chief.

Kerrick was selected as a Flight Director in February of 2005 and completed her International Space Station (ISS) certification in September 2005. She has worked console as an ISS Flight Director for Expeditions 12 - 29, which included serving as the Lead Flight Director for Expedition 14 and lead for US EVA #13 (spacewalk). She supported three docked Shuttle missions from the ISS Flight Control Room (FCR-1) -- STS-118/13A.1, STS-123-1JA, and served as the Lead ISS Flight Director for STS-126/ULF2 in November 2008. In addition, she served as Chair of the Generic Joint Operations Panel (GJOP).

In March 2010, she completed her certification as a Shuttle Orbit Flight Director and supported the planning shift for STS-131/19A and STS-132/ULF4, as well as the Orbit 2 shift for STS-133/ULF5 from the Shuttle Flight Control Room (WFCR).

In January of 2011 Ms. Kerrick completed a nine-month rotational assignment serving as the Deputy Manager of the Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Office at Johnson Space Center. In October of 2011, she returned to the Flight Director Office in the role of Assistant to the Chief for ISS. She held that role until December of 2012 when she was promoted to the ISS Manager of Mission Operations Directorate (MOD). In August of 2014, following a merger of NASA’s Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) and Flight Crew Operations Directorate (FCOD), Kerrick was transitioned to Assistant Director for ISS in the Flight Operations Directorate (FOD).

Ms. Kerrick is also currently employed by the Texas Tech University Rawls College of Business teaching in the STEM-MBA program.

Following the lecture: 


Jackson Park Gazebo, 6:00 - 6:30 p.m.

Meet with physics students and faculty and mingle with our guest speaker immediately following the lecture, then head over to Family Physics Night at 6:30 p.m.

Family Physics Night

Jackson Park Student Activity Center, 6:30 - 9 p.m.

Join the Society of Physics Students and TLU Department of Physics for live interactive physics experiments at Family Physics Night in the Jackson Park Student Activity Center 6:30 - 9 p.m.

November 5, 2015 5:00 PM Central SPS Public Lecture in Physics: NASA Flight Director Ginger Kerrick Wupperman Little Theatre, Schuech Fine Arts Center

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