Honors Summer Snapshots: Katie

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2017 summer routines via photos. Katie Neilson is living near WSU’s Honors College and doing all that south central Kansas has to offer: working in aviation, visiting the Cosmosphere, making pottery (in the absence of burning herself in a glassblowing studio), and seeking shelter from the weather.

My name is Katie, I’ll be a junior majoring in Materials Engineering and minoring in Physics, and this summer I’m interning for Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita, Kansas as a stress engineer. I’m staying on the campus of Wichita State University this summer, which has their own honors program (BUT IT’S IN THE DORM???).

If you’re a member of Iowa State’s Honors program, does that mean you’re automatically a member of all honors programs? I feel like the answer is yes.


Apparently honors is a verb. Can someone confirm or deny that??


Oh hey, a storm. Time to go back inside.


Spooky. (This is a wind velocity map, not a rain map, by the way)

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Kansas, it’s that the weather has no chill. It’s either in the high 90s or storming so bad the building feels like it’s about to fall over. FUN FACT! The building I work in was hit by a tornado in 2013. Kansas, am I right?

At my internship, I’m working on the structural repair manual for the 737-7 MAX. Don’t worry, I’ll give you all the insider secrets here.

See? It’s an airplane. You know because I wrote airplane on it. (We aren’t allowed to take pictures onsite 🙂)


Unfortunately, I can’t find any ways to safely play with fire here (I wasn’t able to find any glassblowing studios in Wichita with open hours), so I decided to try my hand at pottery (HA GET IT).


I am apparently unable to go to things like this without getting it on myself.


Wichita has a beautiful botanical garden called Botanica that I spent a Saturday afternoon at.



Another cool thing I was able to do is go to the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas with my dude, Sean. This is a Gemini-Titan rocket on display there.


Apollo 13 command module.


A practice Apollo 15 lunar module. They have tons of space artifacts there, like restored V-1 and V-2 rockets, the original Apollo 13 command module, one of the 5 original Soviet metal space ball things (the first objects to hit the moon), and more. Pretty cool space/airplane stuff in the Wichita area. It is, after all, called the air capital of the world.

It’s been a pretty decent summer thus far, but can’t wait to get back to Ames to do some research. Oh, and best of all….. MY BROTHER IS GOING TO BE AN FHP STUDENT IN THE FALL!
Keep on honors-ing! (#honorsisaverb? I tried ⭐️)


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