Two ECU students to spend summer with NASA

Two students from East Carolina University will participate this summer in a competitive internship experience with NASA through the Langley Aerospace Research Student Scholars Program.



Lisbeth Soria, a senior pursuing a bachelor of science in industrial technology with a concentration in information and computer technology, and Kaveh Darafsheh, a graduate student in computer science, earned a spot among 200 internships out of 1,000 applicants. Both programs are housed in the College of Technology and Computer Science.

LARSS is a year-round internship program that offers three sessions in Hampton, Va. Soria and Darafsheh will participate in the 10-week program beginning June 3 – a paid research opportunity for students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In 2011, the program was named by Vault-Career Intelligence as one of its top 10 best internship programs out of some 800 that were evaluated.



“I hope to expand the knowledge and skills I have acquired at ECU while engaging and meeting other people in the same career field as myself while working with NASA and its mentors,” Soria said.

This May, Soria will be the first person in her family to graduate from a four-year institution. She added that she is very thankful for her parents’ sacrifices to provide her that opportunity.

Darafsheh said “the internship will allow me to take the theoretical knowledge I gained in the past year in an academic setting and apply it to a real world problem.”  He will be developing an application for distributed network synchronization through software development.

Both students said the TECS Career Center and department faculty helped them learn about the opportunity. Dr. Krishnan Gopalakrishnan and Dr. Junhua Ding in computer science and Lee Toderick in the BSIT program were instrumental in the recommendations required for the applications, they said.

“This experience will allow me to grow both professionally and personally,” Soria added. “I hope this will be only the beginning of many more successful opportunities to come.”

More information about the LARSS internship is available at