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Womens History Month - Megan Buzanowicz
By: Jaha Knight
As we continue our Women’s History Month celebration, we would like to highlight scientific analyst, Megan Buzanowicz.
Megan was born and raised in Northeast Pennsylvania where she received her bachelor’s in meteorology from Millersville University in 2014. Post-graduation she moved to the Hampton Roads, VA area to pursue a masters in atmospheric science from Hampton University where she graduated in 2018. Upon completion of her master’s program, Megan began her journey with SSAI as an intern at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC), conducting data analysis on the aircraft data collected during the OWLETS suborbital campaign. Eight months later she was hired into her current position at the Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC) at LaRC.
“I’m not sure if there’s one particular moment that inspired me to choose my current career path- more so a series of events in my and my family’s lives,” Buzanowicz said when asked what inspired her to choose meteorology as her career path.
“I originally had an interest in becoming a teacher, but my seventh-grade science teacher saw my passion and interest in science and encouraged me to look at pursuing a career in science/meteorology,” Buzanowicz said.
This is an example of why teachers have such an important role in society. Some of our other women’s history highlights such as Tina Harte and Min Huang, relay the same experience as Megan when it came to a teacher having an impactful influence on their career paths.
Besides teachers making an impact on our future leaders of society, taking that knowledge from the classroom and applying it in the real world otherwise known as internship experience, also plays a key role in helping a lot of people decide what is the best career path for them. In Megan’s case, an unexpected opportunity landed her that first job experience in her desired field.
“While I was pursuing my bachelor’s degree, I had an opportunity presented to me to participate as a member of the university’s ground-site team during NASA’s DISCOVER-AQ (San Joaquin Valley, CA and Houston, TX). This opened the door for me to work with DISCOVER-AQ data to complete my master’s thesis and eventually start my career at SSAI analyzing aircraft data, and now helping science teams successfully ingest, archive, and distribute suborbital data products,” Buzanowicz described.
Opportunities like the experience Megan had with her university’s ground-site team, which also happens to be one of her favorite projects to date, in addition to networking with teachers and others in your desired field, can really land you in rooms you never thought would be possible. Here at SSAI we value experiences like Megan’s, where her work during her undergraduate career landed her a permanent position; and we invite you to check out several of our internships opportunities as we continue to remain a company who is steadfast in STEM education and the intern to employee pipeline.
Luckily in Megan’s professional and academic career, she mostly has not experienced the gender imbalance a lot of women typically feel in the STEM field.
“There have been certain circumstances on occasion where I feel my voice wasn’t truly heard, or my knowledge on a particular subject was doubted, due to my gender but I’ve tried to use those occasions to push myself to stand up more for what I know, and to further my knowledge on the subject at hand,” Buzanowicz said.
“Being a woman STEM, I feel like I can serve as a role model or mentor for young women who are interested in STEM subjects and help them remove any doubts that they can succeed in the field.”
Megan offers the advice to young women interested in STEM that,
“If you have a passion for a STEM field don’t be afraid to pursue it! Whether it’s a science field, or a developer, there’s always room for more voices.”
Megan resides in the Hampton Roads area with her significant other, and when she’s not conducting data analysis or working with the ACTIVATE Science Team on getting their work published by the ASDC, she enjoys watching sports, playing video games, and completing puzzles.
We value and appreciate Megan’s contributions to our team from her time as an intern to now, and she is a true inspiration for those who have hope in turning their summer internship into an everyday career!
We invite you to read up on our previous women’s history month highlight, Xia Cai, and be sure to check out our page tomorrow for World Meteorological Day, where we will be highlighting Vice President and Program Manager, Marangelly Cordero-Fuentes.