Meet Abegail Gagelonia, a first year engineering student at the University of Alberta. Abegail joined AlbertaSat while she was in high school due to her strong passion for science and innovation. She pictures herself going into mechanical engineering in the next academic year which is reflected by her current position on the AlbertaSat mechanical team.

Abegail initially discovered AlbertaSat through a mutual friend who invited her to be on the CAN-RGX team. She traveled with the team to Ottawa to compete in CAN-RGX (Canadian Reduced Gravity Experiment Design Challenge). The team was focused on designing an experiment that was to be conducted in a reduced gravity setting. Her favorite memory since being in AlbertaSat was playing ping pong with the team in the research hangar during the flight campaign. 

The biggest skills Abegail has learned from AlbertaSat has been communication and presentation abilities. She believes being a part of the club made her more outgoing and confident. Through having to communicate with other team members and present to classrooms for outreach sessions, her skills have expanded tremendously. Another skill she learned was having a strong work ethic which is influenced by the other members. She admires how everyone in the club is driven and goal-oriented. Being one of the youngest people on AlbertaSat when she initially joined, Abegail has gained many other technical skills. She learned a lot in the past year, and continues to be eager to learn as much as she can. 

In the future, she hopes to expand her role in AlbertaSat by becoming a team lead, or even leading her own CAN-RGX team. Career-wise, she sees herself going into the space field, the renewable energy sector, or even a combination of the two. Through her contributions on the CAN-RGX team, she found a strong passion for space sustainability. 

With such a busy schedule, Abegail’s biggest challenge she has faced in AlbertaSat is learning how to manage her time between academics and the club. To overcome this challenge, she prioritizes time management and organization. Her advice to prospective students joining the club is not to be afraid to take on tasks and get involved. However, she mentioned that she focuses on taking a lower amount of tasks and completing them at a higher quality rather than a higher amount of tasks with lower quality.

Outside of the club and academics, Abegail lives an active lifestyle. She has played soccer for ten years and currently plays on a major league team. She also enjoys playing recreational                                                                                                                                                                  volleyball and reading. Her current book recommendation is “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by                                                                                                                                                                Khaled Hosseini.