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Crew 152-B

CREW 152 / SEGMENT B  "Lone Star Highlanders"

Crew Reports

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Liz Painter is the Simulation Coordinator in the Vocational Nursing program at MCC.  She is originally from Colorado and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Baylor University.  She has worked as a nurse for several years with a main emphasis in ICU. She discovered a love for teaching and students while teaching life science at a local high school. It was this experience that encouraged her to combine her love of teaching with her degree which brought her to the nursing program at MCC.  Liz is married and has three children. She enjoys running, being outdoors, reading, traveling and just hanging out with family. Last year, she was a co-commander on Crew 139B. During the week, she served as geologist and as the Health and Safety Officer.  As a follow up, she attended the Mars Society Convention this past August, in Houston, Texas. Liz is excited to be a part of the spring 2015, MARS 101 crew and will serving as commander. She is looking forward to experiencing another week in Mars simulation while working with students conducting independent research projects. “The MDRS experience was such a unique adventure and has become one of the highlights of my teaching career. I am anxiously awaiting being a part of Crew 155 in the coming year.”


I’m Dave Moran, a first year engineering student at MCC. I plan on transferring to the University of Texas at Austin to major in Mechanical Engineering. I will be the Executive Officer and Lead Engineer for the second crew of the Lone star Highlanders. My research will involve a rover style robot and the use of solar power to operate it.


Melody was born to Lee and Linda Flowers in Erath country Texas in the early 1960s.  Her father became a school teacher for Odessa Ector and moved his new family out to west Texas in search of a steady income.  Unfortunately the pay for teachers was nearly as pitiful then as it is now.  After struggling for three years, Mr. Flowers returned to his father’s dairy farm in Erath County and this is where Melody would call home.  Melody says, “growing up on that farm taught me two important things: the value of hard work cannot be overestimated and NEVER, NEVER be a teacher.”  Well at least one idea stuck.

After attending nearby Tarleton State University in Stephenville for her BA in History, Melody then lived in Osaka Japan for 3 ½ years teaching ESL. She said living in Japan was an experience she would not trade for a million dollars. Losing her provinciality proved helpful in allowing a small-town farm girl to reach for her dreams.  Upon returning to Texas she entered the History Program at Tarleton and completed her Master’s degree.

Soon afterwards she searched for adjunct positions in History and landed one section of HIST 1301 here at MCC.  From that one class forward she was hooked.  After teaching that first semester she finally understood why her father said “You SHOULD teach history.”  Melody believes the greatest part of teaching history is that she is allowed to STILL be a STUDENT.  Melody enjoys interacting with students and helping them accomplish their goals with the MCC History Student Association and the MCC Young Democrats; both of which she serves as an advisor.  Currently Melody has moved back to her family farm in Erath County where she recently built a new home.  She says moving back HOME has certainly emphasized the fact that your identity is your history and vice versa.  Coming back to where she started from has been very rewarding.


Hello, my name is Crystal Webster.  I am a single mom of two, going back to school to pursue a degree in geology.  I hope to transfer to UT Austin in the fall.  I am studying the depositional environment changes at MDRS to look for clues to prove that the area was once a lush forest landscape with flowing and pooling water, as opposed to the arid desert region it is today.  I feel extremely lucky to be participating in the Mars program and can't wait to start!


Greetings, my name is Arwhil St Thomas, and I am a first year engineering student in McLennan Community College. My plan is to obtain an Associate of Science degree in Field of Study, Engineering by spring of 2016 here in MCC. I will then be immediately transfer to Tarleton State University to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Pursuing further education is also an option if the opportunity arise. I was born in the Philippine Islands in the capital city of Manila. I moved here in the states when I was 13 yrs. old for the benefit of having a much better educational and financial opportunities. My research project for MDRS is to evaluate a theory that thermoelectric power generators, equipped with a blackbody, will be much more power efficient than solar panels in an analog environment.

Hello! My name is Hannah Burgess and I am currently a social work major here at MCC. I tend to keep myself very busy on campus which has inspired my project. My time at MDRS will never be forgotten because I will be making a documentary! My documentary will focus on the MCC side of the trip and will be used to educate incoming MCC students of one of the many things they can be involved with during their time here at McLennan Community College.

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