Natalie Hirsch is currently a Project Officer in Operational Space Medicine at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), involved in exercise and nutrition activities and representing Canada on related working groups, including chairing the International Space Station Countermeasures Working Group. She is the strength and conditioning specialist for Canadian astronauts, providing them with pre-, in- and post-flight exercise support and has received several awards, including a NASA recognition award, for this work. Earlier this year, Natalie was nominated by Mr. Andrew Petter, President and Vice Chancellor and inducted into the World Association of Co-operative Education (WACE) Co-op Hall of Fame.
Natalie graduated from SFU in 1996 with a BSc in Kinesiology after completing three co-op work terms, one of which was with the CSA. She has remained at the CSA since shortly after graduation and has been instrumental in hiring and supervising several co-op students to work on multiple space missions. Natalie also holds a Space Studies Graduate Certificate from the University of South Australia.
Over the years, I have worked closely with Natalie to assist her with finding the right co-op student to help with whatever project she was working on at the time. During my interactions with Natalie, I have found her to be extremely professional and always so willing to help and support co-op students at SFU. Upon returning to campus, the students who worked with Natalie consistently reported that they had an amazing experience. Not only was the CSA an incredible work environment, but the students always commented on what an excellent supervisor Natalie was in mentoring, guiding and supporting them in their co-op journey.
Natalie has been a huge supporter and advocate for SFU students and an exemplary ambassador for SFU Alumni both nationally and internationally.
Submitted by: Darleen Bemister