Virtual Handshake

headshotHi, my name is Maria.

Hmm. All right. Off to a good start.

I always find it incredibly daunting to watch the cursor blink over a blank page that’s supposed to be some sort of introductory blurb about myself. It’s like playing those ice-breaker games at camp as a kid: Tell us your name and something you like that starts with the first letter of your name, go! Uh…uh… Under normal circumstances I’d of course remember that I like marshmallows and marsupials, but somehow the pressure of making a good first impression would shove all that useful information right out of my head. I’d just have to spit out the first “m” word that came to mind, which, on one regrettable occasion, was “mud.”

So you’ll have to forgive me if this introduction is a bit stilted.

Hi, my name is Maria, and I like marshmallows and marsupials and all sorts of other things that start with “m” that are not relevant to this post. I’m a 21-year-old student at Elon University in North Carolina, studying physics/astronomy and creative writing—which is probably the product of reading too much sci-fi as a kid. Writing has always been my first love, be it fiction or nonfiction (and angsty poetry during high school, but luckily that phase was as transient as other adolescent misfortunes like acne and braces). But somewhere along the line, an admiration for Jean-Luc Picard’s Enterprise crew turned into a real fascination with the science of the cosmos. So here I am with a double major that I had no idea what to do with until someone recommended science journalism.

I spent the last two summers writing for Sky & Telescope and Scientific American, respectively, and had the time of my life reporting on astronomy/physics-type news. Unfortunately, during the school year I usually find myself so bogged down in, well, school, that I get behind on current science news. Instead, I spend time researching the seminal SETI conference, the Green Bank Meeting of 1961 (aka the Order of the Dolphin), and writing for Elon’s Technology Blog. Please enjoy perusing this site, and do not hesitate to contact me with any questions/comments!

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