Jenna Ross, WSU History Doctoral Student, Interning

PULLMAN, Wash. — A Washington State University doctoral student in
history, Jennifer M. “Jenna” Ross, is serving a 12-week internship at the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Houston.

In conjunction with her May 22-Aug. 11 NASA internship in the Johnson
Space Center Oral History Office, she won a practicum grant from the
Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Among other grant
winners are students from Harvard, Michigan, Indiana, Johns Hopkins, Emory,
New Mexico, Illinois and California-Berkeley.

During her internship, she is conducting historical research on the
professional careers of individuals who made key contributions to the history
of the U.S. human space flight exploration. According to foundation officials,
“The fruit of this research — extensive biographic profiles — (will) become part
of the Johnson Space Center History Archive for future use by NASA and
public researchers.”

Ross says, “As a public historian in training, this internship provides me with
new opportunities to expand my historical knowledge and skills. The work is
challenging. I hope the results of my work will benefit many.”

Orlan Svingen, her WSU major adviser and history faculty member, says Ross’
internship defines the essence of public history where academically-trained
historians apply their training “outside the academy. Through interviews, her
work will help to create a historical context for understanding the successes
and failures of NASA. It also demonstrates the relevance of the work of
historians to other fields.”

Ross is a 1993 graduate of the University of Arizona and earned a master’s
degree from New Mexico State University in 1996. A 1989 graduate of
Flagstaff, Ariz., High School, her parents are Jeff and Sue Ross of Fairbanks,

The foundation, with headquarters in Princeton, N.J., is named for Woodrow
Wilson, the 28th U.S. president, former Princeton University president and
former New Jersey governor.