By Lizzie Kipp / Online Editor

The flowers are attempting to bloom, but they aren’t having much luck yet, which can only mean Hutchinson Community College is about halfway through the spring semester. This also means it’s about that time again for the return of the Dillon Lecture Series.

Many HutchCC students know the drill by now – every once in a while, someone cool comes into town and speaks at the Sports Arena. The first lecture lecture of 2023 will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and features Ginger Kerrick, NASA’s first Latina Director of Mission Control.

Originally from El Paso, Texas, Kerrick grew up dreaming of becoming an astronaut. She overcame many obstacles to gain her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in physics, including being disqualified from the astronaut program. She began working at NASA in 1991 as a summer intern and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming the first non-astronaut Capsule Communicator (also known as CapCom) and the first female and Latina flight director in 2005.

During her 30-year tenure at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Kerrick has held many titles at NASA. She has also supported a grand total of 13 missions on the International Space Station, as well as five joint shuttle missions before her departure from the organization.

Today, you can find her working for Barrios Technology, which partners with NASA to work on furthering the developing space economy.

HutchCC students are admitted free with their student ID. The college will also be on Assembly Schedule, meaning students do not have to miss class to attend.

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