What do we do?
The Strategic Communications team is responsible for the oversight of all media management, donor relations, visual arts and design, event planning and fundraising. This team is home to various majors and partners closely with each subsystem to highlight and report the work conducted in and outside of the lab.
Meet the Team
Natalie E. Ruiz-Perez
Strategic Communications Lead
Natalie E. Ruiz-Pérez is a Junior from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her majors include Film-Video and Biology and she expects to graduate by Spring 2021. She has been a member of the team since Fall 2018. Natalie’s responsibilities include managing the team’s website, social media accounts, and preparing newsletters about the team’s progress. Her latest documentary on the Lunar Lion team was selected to premiere at Penn State’s Winter Showcase 2018. Aside from Lunar Lion, she is the historian for the Puerto Rican Student Association (PRSA) and a member of the TEDxPSU Media/PR team. During her free time, she likes to practice her photography skills and make travel videos.
Ryan Lukachek is from Easton, Pennsylvania and majoring in Computer Science. He is expected to graduate Spring of 2022. As his first semester with Lunar Lion, Ryan is working with Strategic Communications and Ground Control Software subsystems. Outside of Lunar Lion he is involved in Outing Club, works at the climbing wall at the IM building, and spends his free time climbing, working with photo and video creation, and socializing.
Michael Harshell is from Greensburg, Pennsylvania and is majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He is expected to graduate by May 2020 and joined the Lunar Lion team Spring 2018. Michael is part of the Strategic Communications and Propulsion subsystems and is a certified test technician. Besides Lunar Lion, he is involved with research at the High Pressure Combustion Lab on campus. If he’s not doing homework or at one of the labs, he is probably watching a rocket launch or reading about propulsion.
Thomas Patterson is from Coopersburg, PA and is studying Aerospace Engineering with an expected graduation date of Spring 2022. He has been a part of the Lunar Lion team since Fall 2018. He is currently part of the NASA LSPACE Program, and is a member of the PSU Astronomy Club and PSU IEEE.
Strategic Communications Assistant Lead
Brittany is from Wallkill, New York and is currently a Junior studying Electrical Engineering. She joined the Lunar Lion Team in the Fall of 2014. Brittany knew she wanted to join the team even before applying to Penn State and became part of the Strategic Communications team. In Fall 2015, Brittany became the deputy to the previous Lab Manager and officially obtained the title herself in Spring 2016. She chose this position because she wanted to see how all the pieces of the team mesh together by helping everyone out with anything they need in the lab. Brittany is also a part of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, the Multicultural Engineering Program, and the Women in Engineering Program.