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WVU alumna Emily Calandrelli visits Morgantown campus to meet with women and non-binary students

Emily Calandrelli interviewing Callyn Zeigler

Emily Calandrelli interacts with students at events across the WVU campus promoting women and non-binary students in STEM and the Brooke Owens Fellowship.

Emily Calandrelli, a West Virginia University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineer turned Emmy-nominated science TV host, met with women and non-binary students on WVU’s downtown campus to discuss the Brooke Owens Fellowship and present an inspirational testimonial for students to pursue STEM-related careers on Monday, Sept. 13. 

Story by Olivia Miller, Communications Specialist
Photos by J. Paige Nesbit


Calandrelli is the co-executive producer of Emily’s Wonder Lab on Netflix, a featured correspondent on Netflix’s Bill Nye Saves the World and executive producer and host of FOX’s Xploration Outer Space. She is also the author of the science chapter book series, the Ada Lace Adventures. The third book in the series was launched to the International Space Station through the Story Time from Space program. 

The event, hosted by the NASA WV Space Grant Consortium (WVSGC), provided Calandrelli with an intimate setting to openly discuss the risks she took during her career and the many challenges she had to overcome along the way.  

During her academic career, Calandrelli said she was a “scrappy student who wanted to succeed and make her parents proud.” She recalled an experience at Bits and Bytes in the Engineering Sciences Building on WVU’s Evansdale campus where she noticed students floating in the vomit comet, a training device that simulates weightlessness, in that moment, she decided she wanted to become an aerospace engineer. 

“It was because of the support I received at WVU that opened opportunities for me that I would not have had otherwise,” Calandrelli said. “It takes the efforts of more than one person to succeed. The continued support from the WVSGC, ASPIRE office and the Statler College and University will always be extremely important to me.” 

The talk also gave Calandrelli the opportunity to discuss the Brooke Owens Fellowship. The fellowship is a paid internship and mentorship program designed to serve as an inspiration and career boost to young women and other gender minorities who aspire to seek a career in aviation or space exploration. The program offers internships at some of the leading companies in the aerospace industry.  

Calandrelli is a member of the fellowship’s executive team and urged students to apply, offering tips for a successful application. A student from West Virginia has yet to receive the fellowship and she hopes to see the state recognized amongst the fellows.  

While on campus, Calandrelli also partnered with West Virginia Public Broadcasting and the Department of Education to interview two students from the Statler College — computer science and engineering major Callyn Zeigler, and Resident Assistant of mechanical and aerospace engineering Amina Irfan — to discuss their inspirations, passions, and interests in studying STEM and beyond. The series will air late fall.



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