MCC Team Wins NCAS Rover Competition at Glenn Research Center

Jenna ConnollyJenna Connolly Anthony BurchAnthony Burch MESA, Ariz. – Nov. 21, 2018 – Two Mesa Community College students, Jenna Connolly and Anthony Burch, were on the nine-member team that placed first in a Mars rover prototype competition at the National Community College Aerospace Scholars project (NCAS) at Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

Connolly said the support from MCC faculty made a huge difference in winning the rover competition.

“Our chances at winning the competition increased when we consulted with MCC faculty Bob Samson and Adam Glawe,” Connolly said. “The 3D printed part that was created and printed at MCC by Anthony Burch made the rover more stable and allowed us to win the competition.”

Connolly said Dr. Bill Johnson, a math teacher at Scottsdale Community College, assisted as well.

“He not only taught me how to program it, but he also went over the math on how to program it,” Connolly said.

Burch, 36, said the NCAS project competition was an excellent experience.

“The best part was the opportunity to get together to converse, put our minds together and create something in a small period of time,” Burch said.

Connolly, 27, has taken classes at Scottsdale and Paradise Valley Community Colleges and plans to graduate from MCC with an Associate in Applied Science, Computer Information Systems. She has received an academic scholarship to the University of Arizona in security engineering and cyber forensics.

Burch, 36, a network administration major, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree through the college’s 90/30 program, which allows student to apply 90 MCC credits toward a Northern Arizona University degree. He graduated from MCC in May of 2018 and will be graduating from NAU in May 2019. Burch is applying for internships to achieve his goal to work at NASA or Cisco Systems after graduation.

More information on MCC’s participations in NASA’s NCAS Project may be found at

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Contact: Dawn Zimmer, (480) 461-7892,

Mesa Community Collegeis nationally recognized for service-learning, career and technical programs, civic engagement and innovative approaches to education. The college serves as a resource for career readiness, transfer education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to 30,000 students annually, MCC offers more than 195 degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations. MCC is an emerging Hispanic Serving Institution with a diverse student body that enriches the learning experience. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to compete locally and globally. MCC, located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, is one of the 10 colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District. For additional information, visit

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Publication Date: 
Wednesday, November 21, 2018