Student Profiles - Gina Mazzuca

Student Profiles - Gina Mazzuca

Gina Mazzuca

Class: 2013
Major: Meteorology and a minor in physics
Hometown: Pottsville, Pa.

What organization are you a member of on campus?
I am a member of American Meteorological Society, AMS, a mentor for the meteorology met-mentor program, and was a two-year member of Millersville’s Concert Band and Wind Ensemble.

Do you have a job on campus? What are your responsibilities? Yes, I work for Millersville's earth science department. My responsibilities consist of miscellaneous data analysis from field projects and speaking to potential students and their families during meteorology visitation days.

What could you see yourself doing post-graduation?
After graduation I plan to pursue graduate studies in meteorological instrumentation, space weather or atmospheric physics and engage in a career with a private sector or NASA.

Do you play any instruments? How long have you played each one?
I play violin, clarinet, piano, flute and know a little bit about many other instruments. I began on violin when I was seven years old, clarinet and piano when I was 10 and flute only two years ago. When I’m not delving into science related fields, playing music is my favorite hobby. I still play clarinet or violin in church on the holidays, and continue to write and play piano music whenever I get my hands on one.

Why do you think it is important to get involved outside of school? Getting involved in activities outside of classes provides each student with a more holistic approach to his /her college experience. Although course work is my primary obligation as a college student, the time I take each day to do activities that bring myself enjoyment to help keep my mind and body healthy and ready to accept new challenges every day.

Name some of your biggest accomplishments at Millersville University?
One of my biggest accomplishments was during the summer of 2011 when I took part in NASA’s DISCOVER-AQ project. My role in this field study was to secure a tethered weather balloon that carried an instrument pack measuring ozone and NOx/NO/NO2. During this project with other Millersville University students, I was the primary operator of the surface trace gas analyzers, along with an instrument called a nephelometer. Among these were many other instruments in which I had experience working with. I also had the responsibility of manipulating data for these instruments during data analysis, and submitting them to NASA. Another significant accomplishment was this past summer when I completed a heliophysics internship at NASA-University of Alabama. I lived in Huntsville, Alabama for 10 weeks engaging in research, computer programming, and finally making a poster of my final work. I studied terrestrial gamma-ray flashes and will present my findings at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco in December of this year.

What did you learn from your experience with NASA?
These experiences not only taught me the knowledge that makes classroom learning more tangible, it also provided me with solid experience with instrumentation, research and skills that I will continue in my future endeavors.

What are you most proud of in being a member of the meteorology department at Millersville University?
I am honored to be a part of the nationally recognized meteorology program at Millersville University. With its excellent combination of professors and students, I am provided with numerous opportunities to fully expand my love for earth and space sciences. Undergraduates receive incredible experiences and personal attention that is unique to our program.

You were a part of the GEOpod testing here at Millersville. Can you briefly explain what GEOpod is?
GEOpod is a 3-D probe created by Millersville faculty Drs. Sepideh Yalda, Richard Clark and Gary Zoppetti. It provides geophysical data along with virtual devices to help students visualize the content they are studying in classrooms.

How did you get involved?
I was selected to be in one of the first groups to test this installation.

What were your responsibilities with the testing?
I tested several keyboard commands, as well as atmospheric parameters contained within the user-friendly tools.

What was this experience like?
Since technology is everywhere in the modern classroom, students and professors must turn to how the future of information technology will affect our generation as well as generations to come. This experience helped me to become increasingly concerned with new ways of learning.

How has Millersville University help you succeed?
I am grateful for the opportunities Millersville University has provided me with thus far, and will continue to provide in these last two semesters. Being at this school allowed me to remain active in activities and hobbies that I have always enjoyed, while having the privilege to study under outstanding professors. The combination of the caring faculty and studying with exceptionally intelligent colleagues has accommodated me with an abundance of skills, knowledge and experiences for me to excel in my very exciting future.