Marie Lu

Marie Lu

Heritage Intern: Summer 2004

There are some differences between Los Angeles, where I am a sophomore at the University of Southern California, and here in Baltimore, where the STScI is stationed. The sky actually drops rain here, and you cannot physically see the air. The roads are narrower, and the drivers friendlier. There are no palm trees. There are definitely bugs. And although Los Angeles may have more celebrities, Baltimore has something that treats me better: the merry folk at the STScI who have given me an entirely new and utterly fascinating view of astronomy in action.

While I am a double major in Biological Sciences and Political Science (a bizarre and invigorating combination), my first and current hobbies tend to revolve around illustration/art and astronomy. As a child, I would tape over my mother's Food Channel episodes with NOVA reruns and check out those "How to Draw 50 Horses" books at the library. Now, as an older child, I am captivated by space/time theories and Pixar Animation. The opportunity to work at STScI allowed me a chance to combine all of my diverging interests--pooling an eclectic mix of digital art skills with the research of images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. It also allowed me to see how the Institute communicates and connects with the general public, a valuable experience that will help with my future career interests in policy and administration.

Although I was born near Shanghai, China, I moved to the States at the age of 5 and have happily accepted Sugar Land, Texas as my home turf. When I'm not working in Baltimore or educating myself in Los Angeles, I like to play (and usually lose) the occasional tennis match, write, exercise, eat gourmet cheesecake (I'm working my way through the Cheesecake Factory's menu), and spend hours lost among the bookshelves of Barnes & Noble. I also played the piano for 10 years, and still enjoy hitting the keys whenever I have a chance. My hobby for life will probably always be art, though; I am a staunch digital art supporter, and loved learning new techniques with Photoshop during my internship that I intend to apply later on in my future artwork.

Artwork by Marie Lu


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