Mary Sandy is Director of the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, a NASA/universities/educational agencies consortium focused on STEM education, workforce development and research. Internships and real-world experiential learning for students are key program elements. Under Sandy’s leadership, more than 6000 students have been placed in paid internships with NASA, other federal labs and industry. Sandy previously served as NASA’s Public Affairs Officer for Aeronautics and Space Technology at NASA Headquarters, Head of the Office of Public Services at NASA Langley Research Center, and as a classroom educator. She has been the Principal Investigator for numerous NASA, National Science Foundation, National Academies, DOD and FAA grants and contracts.