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Chemistry student heads to NASA for summer internship

May 12, 2017

Walking out of his last final, Nick Boynton checked his email to find his ideal summer job waiting for him.  He was offered a position with NASA at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Oh.

Boynton, a Chemistry sophomore and a Titan’s men’s lacrosse player, will be working with polymer aerogels for potential aerospace applications.

“Aerogels are super strong and lightweight,” said Boynton.  “Their weight makes them ideal for aerospace applications.”

Needless to say, Boynton is excited to begin his 10-week position.

“It [NASA] is the coolest place to work,” said Boynton.  “They are pioneers in the field.  There’s so much that they do that people don’t even realize.  New products start out in a rocket ship and the next think you know, it’s in your kitchen.”

Boynton’s love for chemistry began in high school in his organic chemistry class.

“It was the first time that I was in a class that I fell in love with,” said Boynton.   “There were new things everywhere.  This was very exciting to me.”

In his freshman year at Detroit Mercy after completing the introduction to research methods course, he joined Dr. Matt Mio’s research lab.

“I didn’t know anything about the lab but everyone helped me,” said Boynton.  “I don’t know if I would get this opportunity elsewhere during my freshman year.  The small size of Detroit Mercy makes it possible.”

Boynton is happiest when he’s in the lab discovering something new.  “It’s exciting every time.”

His advice to those following in his footsteps, get involved!

“If you think you might be interested in something, get involved.  You’ll never know until you do it.  I never expected to get a job at NASA.  If you don’t like it, you tried and now you know.”

Boynton’s future looks bright with aspirations to continue his education in graduate school thanks to his Detroit Mercy educational experience.

“It [Detroit Mercy] has given me confidence,” he said. “The schools I’m looking at for grad school are different than what I thought when I got here.  I’m excited for the future.”

-- By John Powell

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