Mt. Airy student’s Shuttle patch to be launched into space

Mt. Airy resident and recent Drexel graduate Jennifer Choy is still having trouble believing that her patch design will be boarding Atlantis STS-135 on its final shuttle space flight July 8.

“It’s not every day that you get to design something for NASA,” Choy said. “I still can’t grasp it. It’s all so exciting.”

Choy and a handful of other graphic design students at the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel learned of the opportunity through their Program Director Jody Graff. Chris Ferguson, a Drexel graduate and commander of the final mission, sought out Drexel students to come up with the design.

Choy never expected that her design, Spaceswan, would be selected, stating that it was a great opportunity to have a chance to simply work on the design.

“I was super surprised,” she said. “I didn’t think any of this was going to happen.”

Choy said she did not have much interest in the shuttle program before beginning this project, but that she put a lot of work into the design.

“The patch is an abstract drawing of the space shuttle so I wanted to portray it as elegant and strong,” she said.

Ferguson, a Philadelphia native who graduated from Drexel in 1984, paid a visit to the students who worked on the patch design. Choy said he spoke about his experience at Drexel, the shuttle program and the important of the patches.

“He’s a really cool guy,” Choy said. “He’s super funny and nice. Really down to earth.”

Ferguson is the third Drexel alumnus to be chosen by NASA, following James P. Bagian ’73 and Paul Richards ’87. Ferguson’s mother and stepfather still live in the area in Langhorne, PA, and his mother-in-law lives in Plymouth Valley, PA.

Choy’s patch will be carried by Ferguson to the International Space Station, where he plans to leave it. 

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