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NASA Academy selects WVU students for internships

Portraits of NASA Academy internship students

(Pictured left to right) Matteo Cerasoli, Alex Deardorff, Cicely Sharafati, and Jared Short, will be participating in the NASA Academy internship program this summer. (Submitted photos)

West Virginia University students in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources will receive valuable lifetime work experiences through the NASA Academy at Langley Research Center this summer. The NASA WV Space Grant Consortium (WVSGC) has announced they would sponsor and financially support four WVU students. 


The NASA Academy offers an intense, multi-disciplinary research program that emphasizes collaboration, teamwork, leadership, innovation and creativity. Students are selected to be part of the Academy after a competitive application process and a series of interviews. 

“The selection of four outstanding undergraduate students for the NASA Academy internship brings great pride to our entire department,” said Jacky Prucz, chairman and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. “The unique experience that these students will gain in interdisciplinary teamwork, leadership and innovation by participating during the summer in such internship will undoubtedly propel even higher their motivation and capabilities to excel both in their engineering studies and their future professional careers.” 

Unlike typical internships with a mentor-prescribed research plan, the Academy is an intense multi-disciplinary research project that requires focus and commitment. A fundamental problem in aeronautics or aerospace is given to the team, and the team decides how to solve the problem using available resources.

WVU students selected to participate are:

  • Matteo Cerasoli, native of Charles Town, West Virginia, mechanical and aerospace engineering undergraduate student and president of the WVU Experimental Rocketry Club.

    "I am absolutely ecstatic to intern with NASA and I am very much looking forward to it,” Cerasoli said. “Thank you immensely, WVSGC, for all of your support and all you do!"  

  • Alex Deardorff, native of Charleston, West Virginia, and aerospace engineering undergraduate student.

    "I am profoundly grateful for NASA WVSGC and all of the great work they do in helping students achieve their professional dreams,” Deardorff said. “I cannot begin to explain how excited I am to work for NASA! Please know that the WVSGC is making highly positive impacts on students' lives, and I appreciate everything you do."

  • Cicely Sharafati, native of Leesburg, Virginia, and mechanical and aerospace engineering undergraduate student.

    "Thank you so much WVSGC for everything you have done for me,” Sharafati said. “I am very excited and grateful about having this opportunity and experience. I can't wait to further increase my engineering knowledge and work with an amazing team of students."

  • Jared Short, native of Fayetteville, West Virginia, and mechanical and aerospace engineering, undergraduate student.

    "I am very excited to be offered such an amazing opportunity and to begin working this summer," Short said.

"We are enthusiastic about continuing our internship program, which demonstrates the value of connecting students with NASA and supporting their opportunities to learn about STEM careers," said Candy Cordwell, WVSGC program manager. “Providing paid summer NASA internships to students is an important step in addressing the limitations on access to STEM job-related experiences."

For more information about this program, please contact Candy Cordwell at



Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit

For more information on news and events in the West Virginia University Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, contact our Marketing and Communications office:

Phone: 304-293-4135