NASA Selects Olivet Nazarene University Senior for Prestigious Europa Clipper Intern Program

Ethan Piacelli will join 39 US STEM students this June for the inaugural NASA program.

George Wolff

May 3, 2024 Academics, Accolades, Alumni & Friends, Engineering, Research

Nasa EURPOA illustration

NASA has announced the selection of 40 undergraduate students for the inaugural year of its Europa ICONS (Inspiring Clipper: Opportunities for Next-generation Scientists) internship program. Among the selected for this prestigious appointment is Ethan Piacenti, a senior from Olivet Nazarene University.

Piacenti, who will graduate this May with a degree in engineering from ONU’s Walker School of STEM, is set to embark on a 10-week program to conduct original scientific research related to NASA’s mission to Jupiter’s moon, Europa. The program is planned to run annually until the Europa Clipper completes its prime mission in 2034.

The Europa ICONS program matches students with mentors from the mission’s science team. The internships may be in-person at the mentor’s institution, virtual, or hybrid, depending on the research project and needs of the mentor and intern. As part of the program, students and mentors will convene for a two-day meeting at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

Piacenti’s selection is a significant achievement, reflecting his academic excellence and passion for space exploration. His journey will begin this June. At Olivet, Ethan has been actively involved in Track & Field as a sprint Athlete, National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), SAE Baja, Investing Club, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

This opportunity allows Piacenti and his peers to contribute to the mission’s goal of exploring Europa, one of the most promising locations in our solar system for potential habitability. The program is open only to qualified U.S. undergraduate STEM majors, with preference given to students from non-high research activity universities.

Piacenti’s selection highlights the quality of education at Olivet Nazarene University and its commitment to fostering the next generation of scientists and engineers.

The entire ONU community is proud of Piacenti’s achievement and looks forward to his contributions to the Europa Clipper mission.

Ethan Piacelli

Ethan Piacelli, ONU Tigers Track & Field 2024

Read the NASA press release here.

George Wolff

George Wolff ’94 is a singer, actor and Creative Director and Partner with 989Group.

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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