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CCU’s Mitchell named a NASA Pathways Intern

May 25, 2022
CCU's Cage Mitchell has been named a 2022 NASA Pathways Intern.

Coastal Carolina University student Grant McCager “Cage” Mitchell, of Longs, S.C., was recently selected as a 2022 NASA Pathways Intern. Mitchell is an HTC Honors College rising senior majoring in applied physics with a concentration in environmental physics, a minor in applied mathematics, and a certificate in sustainability.

Mitchell’s virtual internship will be through Kennedy Space Center. He will focus on database development for life sciences research, using ground-based microgravity simulation devices in comparison with space flight studies. Students selected for the Pathways Program are considered for full-time employment with NASA once they graduate.

Mitchell works as a research assistant in CCU’s Burroughs & Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies with professors Paul Gayes, Shaowu Bao, and Leonard Pietrafesa, in collaboration with the Savannah River National Laboratory, to further understand sea breeze events and how they interact with the environment. He also conducts independent research in the microfluidic microplastic separation study under the mentorship of Wes Hitt, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Physics and Engineering Science at CCU.

“I’m looking forward to further developing as a researcher, scientist, and person so that I can make the greatest impact possible,” said Mitchell. “I will bring to NASA the skills I learned during past projects and, most importantly, my enthusiasm. I know I have so much more to learn, and I can’t wait to do it at NASA. I’m excited to be a part of the Artemis Generation.”

Mitchell is the founder and president of CCU’s Physics and Engineering Club, a Presidential Ambassador, and a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society, Phi Eta Sigma national honor society, and National Society of Leadership and Success. He was also recently awarded a Gilman Scholarship to study abroad in Scotland as part of the Field Methods in Oceanographic Data Analysis at the Scottish Marine Institute Maymester program.