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Craft Academy graduate accepts NASA internship

Cate EmburyCatherine Embury (19), a graduate of the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics at Morehead State, has accepted a prestigious internship with NASA.   

Embury, a Lexington native, is currently a mathematics major at Wright State University. During her NASA internship, Embury will be researching efficient and cost-effective ways to communicate with and track small satellites.   

"I have been applying (and getting rejected) for internships with NASA for almost three years, and honestly I didn't really think it would ever be more than a pipe dream," she said. "When I got the email with my offer letter, I actually spent about 30 minutes making absolutely sure it wasn't a phishing scam before I allowed myself to get excited, but when I did get excited, I cried for another 30 minutes. I am beyond thrilled to be a part of NASA, even if only for the next 16 weeks."  

Embury said her interest in space science began when she attended the SpaceTrek summer camp for girls in 2017. She credits Jen Carter, assistant director of academic services at the Craft Academy and a Space Trek instructor, with sparking her passion for studying space science.  

"Ms. Carter, through SpaceTrek, had instilled a passion in me, a love for data and for space science, which has now developed into a love of all things' outer space,'" Embury said. "After finishing SpaceTrek, and as soon as I began at Craft, where I had initially intended on focusing on psychology, I immediately asked Ms. Carter to change my schedule so I could focus on space science engineering. She obliged and helped me get set up for the classes that would draw me even further into my love of space science engineering."  

Embury immersed herself in her studies through the Space Science Center’s “Padawan” program, which pairs new and incoming students with a faculty or peer mentor to help them explore different aspects of space science. Embury worked on the environmental testing and safety engineering teams for the Lunar IceCube project.   

"I really can't even begin to describe the level of privilege I was given when I was accepted into the Craft Academy," she said. "It gave me a steppingstone into the real world, and rather than throwing me in head-first and allowing me to fail. I was given a whole host of new tools that I could use to succeed. While I am proud of the work I have done to be where I am, I would not have been able to even approach that work or the field of space science engineering if not for the passion, for the goals, for the ambition, and for the ability to believe in myself that both SpaceTrek and the Craft Academy instilled in me."  

For more information about the Craft Academy at MSU, visit, email or call 606-783-2093.  

 To learn more about space science programs at MSU, visit, email or call 606-783-2381.