Published: Dec. 3, 2020

Mark SirangeloMark Sirangelo
Entrepreneur-Scholar-in-Residence, Smead Aerospace
Tuesday, Dec. 8
4 - 5 p.m.
Zoom - Registration Required

This has been a year that no one will forget. It has taken its toll on all in our CU Boulder family.

While there is no way to minimize this time, in this seminar, led by Mark Sirangelo, Entrepreneur-Scholar-in-Residence and former head of Sierra Nevada Space Systems, we will try to put it in perspective, discuss previous challenges and provide insight into the very important questions we are hearing from you.

Guest Speakers will include:

  • Maj. Gen. Kimberly A. Crider is the Mobilization Assistant to the Chief of Space Operations, Headquarters United States Space Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. In this position, she assists the CSO to organize, train, equip and maintain space forces by contributing to the development of strategy, long-range plans, and concept of operations, as well as the activities ensuring the service builds and employs effective space forces.
  • Robert D. Strain is the president of Ball Aerospace. Strain joined Ball in 2012 following his tenure as the center director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center where he oversaw the success of more than 13 missions. This included the final Shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope and the successful restructure of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

Full Abstract:

This has been a year that no one will forget.  It has taken its toll on you and all in our CU family.  On top of the many questions you would normally have at this point in your education, so many more questions, concerns, anxieties and fears have been added.  Times like this are painful but we can learn from yesterday, live and stay safe for today while planning with a new hope for tomorrow.

While we cannot reverse the harsh impact of this pandemic, we can try to put it in perspective.  Our university, our country and our world have dealt with, survived, and emerged stronger from challenges that have confronted us in similar ways.

This discussion is not meant to diminish what you are going through, nor can anyone yet provide definitive solutions.  Rather, this conversation might help put these difficult events into a broader context and offer some balance and, perhaps, even hope.  Difficult times can lead to opportunity and growth.  We will discuss how our country has exited similar challenges previously, and use those lessons to provide insights into some of the important questions we have heard from you. 

  • Will there be jobs for us when we graduate? 
  • What will employers think of our education, given our different educational process? 
  • Is the world of science, business and research ever going to be what it used to be? 
  • This pandemic has challenged certain sectors of society more; how can this be addressed?
  • My education experience hasn’t been what I hoped for. How might that affect me in 5 or 10 years? 
  • Is what I’m learning going to be relevant anymore? 

As hard as it may be to see now, real sustainable positives can come from confronting the types of national and global issues that we are facing today.  Often, after our darkest days, we have seen some of the most productive, expansive and dynamic times this country has ever enjoyed.  That is true now as well.

Many positives are happening.  These developments can create a constructive environment for you, for your career and for your future.  We will try to present some of these encouraging trends, which might provide you optimistic thoughts for tomorrow despite what we all may be feeling at the moment. 

  • What types of new directions and new opportunities might arise in our society from this time? 
  • What have we learned from this that will actually improve our possibilities in the future? 
  • Are there new areas or sectors that might be accelerated or created through this pandemic? 
  • How might our generation at CU right now, actually make a bigger difference in the future?
  • What other types of professions or sectors can be pursued with the skills we are learning? 

This discussion will give you a chance to discuss what is on your mind.  You will also hear from people on the front lines now, helping manage the current crisis, as well as companies who will be hiring in the coming years and others whom you could work with to help build a better future.

We hope that this seminar will provide you a new hope that a positive tomorrow will be there; it will be exciting and will give you all the opportunities to make even more of a difference than you might have thought before.