About Speaker Nagin Cox…
Nagin has been exploring since she decided as a teenager that she wanted to work for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Growing up as a young woman in a multicultural environment, it was already clear how many ways humans find to divide themselves; robotic space exploration helps the world “look up”and remember that we are one world.
As a spacecraft operations engineer for over 20 years, Nagin had held leadership and system engineering positions on multiple NASA/JPL interplanetary robotic missions including the Galileo mission to Jupiter, the Mars Exploration Rovers, the Kepler exoplanet hunter, InSight, and the Mars Curiosity Rover (MSL).
She is currently a Mission Lead on the Curiosity Rover that landed on Mars in August of 2012 and has been exploring ever since. She is also involved in the MOXIE (Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment) team which will prototype making oxygen on Mars from the martian atmosphere, and the Asteroid Redirect Mission.
Nagin’s honors include being the namesake for Asteroid 14061. She has received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and two NASA Exceptional Achievement Medals for her work on the Mars Exploration Rover Team and the Galileo Mission. She has also received the Bruce Murray Award for Exceptional Public Outreach and has been a nominee for the Women at Work Medal of Excellence. She is a U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) SLATE STEM Speaker and has spoken to live and television audiences around the US, Canada, Europe, South America, the Middle East, and South Asia on the stories of the people behind the missions.
She is a past member of Cornell University’s President’s Council for Cornell Women and has served on the Boards of Griffith Observatory (FOTO) and Impact Personal Safety: Self-Defense & Empowerment for Women. She is involved as a judge for the Entertainment Industries Council of depiction of STEM in movies & TV.
Before her time at JPL, she served for 6 years in the US Air Force including duty as a Space Operations Officer NORAD/US Space Command. Nagin holds engineering degrees from Cornell University and the Air Force Institute of Technology as well as a psychology degree from Cornell. Sometimes she is not sure which one she uses more the engineering degree or the psychology degree!