Alex Ryan

Academic Coordinator, SSP/SHSSP/ISP, International Space University

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Don't feel like you aren't smart enough, or you aren't good enough, because you are!

What do you do?

I work with space professionals across the global to create a curriculum for the Space Studies Program, Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program and just this year, Interactive Space Program for the International Space University. I organise lectures, workshops, visits to space companies, help with public events featuring astronauts, and coordinate a large team that helps put this all together.

Why did you choose this field?

My father introduced me to a TV show called Stargate SG-1 and it featured an incredible character called Colonel Samantha Carter. She was an astrophysicist and I would watch every week as she was the one to figure out the way to save the day. I wanted to be just like her, so I went to university to study astrophysics, got my Honours degree and then moved into the space sector.
I would say that moment when I realised that this badass woman in science was the hero, was when I wanted to be a woman in STEM.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

Working with astronauts! I've been able to meet so many astronauts, and not just as celebrities but as colleagues. This was something young me did not think was possible.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love the fact it's cutting edge. There are so many new discoveries every day and so many new things to celebrate. I work with people, and I just love hearing about their work or their discoveries.

Best advice for next generation?

It's not only possible, but it's encouraged. So many people, myself included, suffer from impostor syndrome. Everyone around you feels so smart, and you feel so insecure, but the truth of the matter is that everyone also feels that way! Don't feel like you aren't smart enough, or you aren't good enough, because you are!

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

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