ND Space Grant Announces the Hiring of Marissa Saad
The North Dakota Space Grant Consortium is happy to announce the hiring of Marissa Saad to support the expanding activities of the program. Marissa comes with a strong background and interest in promoting STEM education.
Marissa Saad graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Astronomy and two minors in Education and Latin. After receiving her Massachusetts High School Earth Science Teaching License, she continued onwards to graduate school where she earned her Master of Science degree in Space Studies at the University of North Dakota.
At UND, she worked as the science lead on the High Altitude Student Platform (HASP) mission, collaborating with the University of North Florida on NASA’s zero-pressure balloon launch. Working with the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium, Marissa coordinated the annual Near Space Balloon Launch (NSBC), a state-wide payload competition that promotes middle and high school STEM. She continued to merge high altitude balloon launches with hands-on STEM education for her master’s thesis, integrating a ballooning mission into the 8th grade curriculum in a Grand Forks middle school.
After graduating, Marissa traveled back to Massachusetts and gained experience working as a 12th grade teacher, instructing Earth Science, Environmental Science, and Chemistry classes. Now, she is excited to return to North Dakota Space Grant to work on innovative projects and to inspire the next generation of students in STEM.
Marissa will help with the coordination activities of the consortium working closely with the Deputy Director (Caitlin Nolby) and Director (Santhosh Seelan).
The Space Grant Program is excited by the energy Marissa will bring to the program. With Marissa sharing some of the expanding activities and responsibilities, we hope to be able to compete for more external funds, focus more on the regions of the state that need more attention, promote more “hands on” STEM activities, and expand our pre-service and in-service teacher training activities.