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JPLers whose jobs do not revolve around science, engineering to take stage at LCUSD talk

The entry sign at JPL in La Canada Flintridge on Monday, June 4, 2012. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographe
Students in grades 7-12 and their parents are invited to learn about the important non-scientific, non-engineering careers found at JPL, during a talk planned for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at the La Cañada Unified School District boardroom at 4490 Cornishon Ave.
(File Photo)

Editor’s note, 4:30 p.m. Oct. 16: Tonight’s event has been canceled due to a power outage.

Students with aspirations of someday working at La Cañada’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory may well harbor passions in science and engineering, but a panel discussion Tuesday evening aims to demonstrate those aren’t the only career pathways that will get you there.

At the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board room, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., parents and students in grades 7-12 can meet four JPL employees who contribute to the facility’s important space mission through work in a variety of professional fields.

Speakers include: JPL Business Administration Manager Lyn Repath-Martos; Web producer and social media lead Kristen Walbot; Heather Doyle, a public engagement networks supervisor; and Erica Beam, group supervisor for institutional cost and schedule evaluation.


“JPL is an amazing place to work and to be, but you don’t necessarily have to be a scientist or engineer,” said LCUSD science coordinator Amy Nespor, who organized the event. “Maybe you could help JPL with their finances. (Or) you can get a job at JPL as a welder and weld something that goes into outer space.”

Tuesday’s speakers will deliver brief introductions about their work and backgrounds and will then take questions from the audience. Nespor, who earned her doctorate in science and is married to a JPL engineer, said she hopes students of all interests will attend and be inspired.

“There are all kinds of career possibilities for people,” she said. “I wanted to show them the world is their oyster.”

The talk is sponsored by LCUSD Science Enrichment Programs. The La Cañada Unified Governing Board room is located at 4490 Cornishon Ave., in La Cañada.


Twitter: @SaraCardine