July 8, 2015

Contact: Teana Fredeen
805-756-6579; tfredeen@calpoly.edu

Cal Poly Welcomes Alum and NASA Astronaut Victor Glover on July 16

Public is welcome as engineering grad addresses EPIC camp attendees at Spanos Theatre

SAN LUIS OBISPO — NASA astronaut and Cal Poly engineering alumnus Victor Glover will speak at the university’s Spanos Theatre at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 16.

The Navy lieutenant commander was among eight candidates named to NASA’s 21st astronaut class in 2013. The classmates completed their initial astronaut training and are now active NASA astronauts eligible for mission assignments.

Glover will discuss the benefits of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education as part of Cal Poly’s Engineering Possibilities in College summer camp, said Teana Fredeen director of the EPIC program.

“Cal Poly launched Victor on his quest to work in space,” Fredeen said, “so we’re excited to have him speak at Cal Poly.”

The talk, titled “Engineering Possibilities” to coincide with the EPIC program, is free and open to the public. Spanos Theatre is between the University Union and the Performing Arts Center in the center of campus.

Glover (B.S., General Engineering, 1999) was selected from the second largest number of applications NASA had ever received — more than 6,100. His class received a wide array of technical training at space centers around the globe in preparation for missions to low-Earth orbit, an asteroid and Mars.

Though an engineering graduate, Glover also credits his role as a member of the Cal Poly wrestling team during the 1994-95 season with helping prepare him for work as an astronaut.

“Wrestling was one of the most indelible influences in my life,” he said. “Someone asks me about being in the pool at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory and doing the EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity) training. I compare it to wrestling and how you have to be able to think in 3-D and think moves ahead if you want to go from good to great.

“Wrestling had just as much of an impact on me as the things I was learning in the lab or in engineering.”

Glover is the fourth Cal Poly alumnus to serve as an astronaut. The others include: Robert L. “Hoot” Gibson (captain, USN, retired) (B.S., Aerospace Engineering, 1969), a four-time commander on the space shuttle and an inductee in the National Aviation Hall of Fame; Gregory Chamitoff (B.S., Electrical Engineering, 1984), and Frederick “Rick” Sturckow (colonel, USMC, retired (B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 1984).

From Pomona, Calif., and Prosper, Texas, Glover is an F/A-18 pilot and graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. He also holds degrees from Air University and Naval Postgraduate School. He earned his wings as a Naval Aviator in 2001 and served a two-year deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, flying 24 combat missions.

His awards and decorations include the Navy Achievement Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Air Force Test Pilot School’s Ellison Onizuka “Prop Wash” Award; and the Shades of Blue Ed Dwight, Jr. Achievement Award. He now serves as a Navy Legislative Fellow in the U.S. Congress.

For more details about Glover’s visit and talk, contact Fredeen at (805) 756-6579 or tfredeen@calpoly.edu.

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