By: Hailey Temple

This past week, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) selected Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) Online Communication and Relationship Manager Kelly Lux to attend NASA Social to be held on August 3, 4 and 5.

NASA Social is the next evolution in NASA’s efforts to connect people and talk about the agency’s explorations through social media. Since 2009, NASA Social has held Tweetups and gatherings across the country to allow the social media community to go behind-the-scenes at the agency and to create conversation about NASA’s latest explorations. These unique gatherings last from two hours to two days, and allow social media “socialites” to connect with the social media team that manages @NASA and @NASASocial.

Lux is one of 25 participants selected to attend the three-day event to be held at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. As a member of the social media community who engages NASA via Twitter, Facebook and Google+, Lux will have the opportunity to speak with scientists, participate in news conferences and interact with fellow social media users. NASA Social culminates in the landing of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Mars’ Gale Crater.

“This is a great opportunity to interact with others in the social media and journalism space who are interested in innovation, technology and the future of our planet. NASA attracts the best in their fields and this event will be no different. I also expect to learn a great deal more about NASA’s mission, and get a better feel for where our resources intersect with their programs,” Lux said.

Earlier this year, iSchool Assistant Professor of Practice Anthony Rotolo spoke at NASA’s Space Innovation Day at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. Rotolo’s talk focused on his unique Star Trek Class, “Exploring the Information Age in the Final Frontier,” which examines issues and questions of the information age by examining Star Trek episodes. With this opportunity to further connect with NASA scientists and the social media community, Lux will continue to speak about the advancements the iSchool has made with information technology while forging a stronger bond with the agency’s social media team and scientists.

By attending NASA Social, Lux hopes to continue to develop the relationship between NASA and Syracuse University’s iSchool. “NASA has been on the cutting edge of technology and innovation for decades, and continues to attract the best and brightest to work among its ranks. I believe that an ongoing relationship with NASA is a huge opportunity for both our students and faculty to work on collaborative projects and, hopefully, direct qualified graduates into positions at NASA.”