Young Alumni Profile
Catrina A. (Rogers) Melograna, L'11
Home: Currently Leiden, Netherlands
Undergrad: Louisiana State University
Favorite book: Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking
What you are currently reading? Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Avis Lang
Words you live by: Stay curious and boldly go!
What people might be surprised to know about me: I paint watercolor portraits of dogs.
What I'm currently working on: I am a student at Leiden University's Air and Space Law Advanced LL.M. program which is part of the International Institute of Air and Space Law. I am a prospective member of the International Institute of Space Law, and I am currently in the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs' (UNOOSA) Space4Women mentorship program. I am also the course manager for International Space University's (ISU) Executive Space Course for the Americas, a short program that connects people in diverse fields with the space industry. I am also a co-founder of a cis-lunar services company called Moonscape, and I co-own a creative communications firm, Block by Block Creative, with my husband Jordan Melograna.
When did you become interested in the space industry? I have been interested in space and astronomy since I was a kid, but it was rekindled several years ago while experimenting with night sky photography and learning about astronomy on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. I knew then I was going to make space a part of my life and career. I attended ISU's Executive Space Course in Seattle (where I usually live) and learned that space is for everyone, including lawyers!
Describe your experience in the International Space University's Space Studies Program (SSP).
SSP is an intensive nine-week program set in a different city every summer, and was in Strasbourg, France when I attended last year. I learned all things space-engineering, applications, human performance, humanities, business, law and policy, and space sciences. I studied with over 120 students from over 30 different countries and a multitude of educational and professional backgrounds, so I had an incredibly culturally rich experience. I now have space friends around the world. I argued in a space moot court and was on a team project sponsored by NASA and chaired by NASA Ames Research Center's Chief Scientist. We researched and wrote a report on satellite swarms and designed a NASA heliophysics mission. I also earned the Morla Milne Award for highest academic achievement in the program.
Tell us about Moonscape. Moonscape is a company I am helping develop with several friends from the SSP. It is a lunar services company, providing communication relay and cutting-edge imaging while delivering payloads to the moon's surface and orbit. Our mission statement is: To provide affordable, low-risk and sustainable services for the cis-lunar industry.
How has your legal education at Duquesne affected your career? Duquesne provided me with a diverse legal education. I specifically enjoyed the Law and Philosophy class where we discussed space and physics. It was the first time I studied the link between law, ethics, science and space.
How would you describe the value of a Duquesne University School of Law education? For me, the value is in the professors and faculty. The support and guidance that I received, and still receive, is invaluable. You can learn law in many places, but the people and relationships are what shape your career and future.
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