A couple of weekends ago, a couple friends and I decided to participate in the 5K Glow Run at Fred Beekman Park. The course was a three loops around the park, running by ponds with large fountains and several different sporting fields. The path was lit with glowing balloons that appeared brighter as the sun set during the race. I ran cross country for three seasons in high school, but ever since my final run senior season I hadn’t done any long distance running. Jumping back into the sport was so much fun and made me wish I had never stopped running. However, during my cross country run, never had I run as the sun set. Feeling the cool air and seeing a path illuminated by glowsticks as you sprint towards the finish line really is a special experience. If this experience taught me anything, it’s that I need to keep running. In the words of former Olympic runner Julie Isphording, “Run Often. Run Long. But never outrun your joy of running.” It was 11 months since my last 5K, and I don’t plan on waiting another 11 months for the next one.
My name is Matthew Fortner and I’m a student at The Ohio State University studying Aerospace Engineering. I am in the Green Engineering Scholars program and I hope to bring my ideas about sustainability to space and beyond! I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, but before coming to Ohio State I lived in Durham, North Carolina, and Syracuse, New York. Ever since visiting NASA as a child I have wanted to help mankind reach Mars and beyond, and due to this I am also a huge science fiction fan! I enjoy TV shows like The Expanse and The 100, but I’m also a huge F.R.I.E.N.D.S. fan! I also enjoy 3D modeling and 3D printing, and I have many 3D objects displayed around my dorm and my house back in Syracuse.
Mars has been a dream of mine since as long as I can remember. Ever since visiting NASA for the first time at age seven, I’ve always wanted to either go to space or work to help other people get to space. With this came an increased interest in the planets and just about anything off this Earth. One project that immediately captured my interest was creating a colony for people to live on Mars. Helping make this dream into a reality is one of my main life goals.
- Global Awareness: Doing tests such as the strength test and working with people that balance out the strengths of the group is something that I am doing now and plan to do as I work in the field in the future.
- Original Inquiry: Going into aerospace engineering, there are many possibilities for disciplines to study within aerospace, but my main focus will be on how to get the necessary materials to Mars or wherever they need to go to create a colony.
- Academic Enrichment: Besides a bachelors in science for Aerospace, I plan to get a masters or PhD in the field before working to create a colony on Mars.
- Leadership Development: Back in December I earned my Eagle Scout through the Boy Scouts of America, which taught me an immeasurable amount of leadership skills. I plan to put these to use in a student organization here at Ohio State to hone my skills before working in the workforce.
- Service Engagement: Working to create a colony on Mars will enhance the future for all of humanity. The future of the human race is a multi planetary species, and starting the first colony on another planet is a big step towards that.