Last Wednesday, Sept. 13, Loras College alumna Beth Mund came back to her past stomping grounds. Mund graduated in 1996, and has worked for many organizations, including United, Motorola, Allstate and NASA. While Mund attended Loras College, she was involved in many activities, such as being a writer for The Lorian and being a member of a sorority. Like many college students, Mund felt stuck during her senior year. She didn’t know what she was going to do post-graduation.
“You gotta decide to get unstuck,” said Mund.
That is exactly what she did. To get out of her rut, she volunteered. She joined every club and activity possible, taking any opportunity that came her way.
As a child, Mund was always fascinated by space: the solar system and the universe. After looking for information about space at her local library, Mund found the book “Spacecamp” and was set on going to the NASA-run camp in Huntsville, AL. Mund mowed lawns and saved up every penny that she had to go to this camp. Her hard work paid off, because she did eventually go to camp, and learned a lot of interesting information that many of the astronauts know and use today.
Because of her love of space, Mund wrote many papers and articles on topics regarding space and life beyond Earth. During her senior year, while taking Common Law, she was assigned a paper that resulted in her re-evaluating her life. Mund’s professor, Mary Lynn Neuhaus, read the paper and told Mund she should pursue this topic after graduation. Mund decided to do what was suggested.
After graduation, while Mund was working for Motorola, she applied to NASA eight times. She was determined to get a job in the aerospace industry. She even joked that eight must be her lucky number because she then got a job at NASA’s Houston headquarters. Mund worked there as a spokesperson, a crisis communicator, and a public relations specialist. While working at NASA, she got to meet many astronauts, and talk to many people concerning NASA. She also met her husband there and worked with the Houston-based Columbia Space Shuttle Crew.
The most important part of Mund’s presentation was the message that she gave to all college students applying for the Women’s Leadership Alliance of Loras Scholarship.
Before she left, she encouraged all students to embrace the experiences and opportunities that are given, and believe in the path that they are going down. Most importantly, Mund encouraged students to “explore the space.”
Not everyone’s path is bound to space. It is important to know where one’s place is, and explore it as much as possible. Mund’s closing statement summed up her life story and inspired everyone attending to be curious and see more in life than what is right in front of them.
“Will you explore your space?”
For more information on Beth Mund, visit: www.bethmund.com