SGAC Announces the Winners of the SGAC – NASA SCaN Scholarship 2022


SGAC in cooperation with the NASA Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) are pleased to announce Julia Ross and Alyssa Johnson as the winners of the SGAC – NASA Scan Scholarship 2022. Through this scholarship, SGAC has partnered with NASA-SCaN to support the attendance of two of its interns to the 20th Space Generation Congress (14-16 September 2022) and the 73rd International Astronautical Congress (18-22 September 2022) in Paris, France.


Julia Ross

Julia Ross is currently in the final year of her Bachelors of Science degree at Johns Hopkins University, majoring in Computer Science and Public Health. Within her studies and career, Julia is interested in sustainability, particularly environmental justice. During her second summer interning with the NASA SCaN Network Integrity Program Office, she has incorporated sustainability into her cybersecurity project. This unconventional approach reflects her affinity for working at the intersections of fields. One intersection she is most motivated by is that of space research and humanitarian efforts. Outside of academics, Julia leads the organizing team of GreenHacks, a sustainability hackathon at her university. She also works on web development for the Overdose and Safety Insights research project at Lighthouse Studies at Bloomberg School for Public Health. Julia is always excited by projects that produce positive global impact.

“I am honored to be awarded the NASA SCaN 2022 Scholarship and I am particularly excited to attend this year’s Space Generation Congress, given the theme of diversity, access, and inclusion. I look forward to cultivating an international network of peers interested in space.”


Alyssa Johnson

Alyssa Johnson just received their Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, and will be starting a Ph.D. in Astronomy at the University of California, San Diego this fall. Their previous education includes a Master of Fine Arts in Painting & Drawing from Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. During their undergraduate career, their research focused on laboratory tests of weak-field gravity and observational cosmology research. Other experiences included a Solar Physics REU at Montana State University and participation in the inaugural Simons-National Society for Black Physicists Scholar program. For the past year, they have been interning at NASA‘s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), most recently with the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) office. At present they are completing a systems engineering internship with NASA GSFC, working on experiment designs for the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD), a two-way optical communications relay satellite that will demonstrate the benefits of optical technologies.

“I want to better understand ways to peacefully use space. The Space Generation Congress is an invaluable opportunity to do this and to participate in global discussions on the space sciences. I am very grateful for this opportunity to attend the Space Generation Congress under a NASA – SCaN SGAC Scholarship.”