This Former Public School Student Now Works With Astronauts

by Mara Agner   |  Mar 27, 2017
Image: Thomas Pesquet |
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Proof that you can be anything you want to be: Gwendolyne Pascua-Demoulin. Gwen is a Kalinga native who was a public student at Bulanao Central School and Tabuk National High School where she joined various regional science fairs.

As a kid, Gwen liked collecting photos of astronauts to the point that her mother asked her if she intended to marry an astronaut. "No, I want to be an astronaut," she would tell her mother.

After completing a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics at UP Diliman, Master of Science in Physics at the same school, Master in Material Science Exploiting Large-scale Facilities, a dual degree from Universite de Rennes I in France and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat in Germany, and a PhD in Experimental Physics at the University of Zurich, Gwen is now a physicist who serves as a ground controller at Biotechnology Space Support Center (Biotesct) in Lucerne University in Switzerland.

"We prepare [the astronauts'] experiments and procedures starting from planning their experiments, coordinating with scientists and payload developers. We do all tests necessary on the ground before they are sent to the ISS (International Space Station)," Gwendolyn told

Needless to say, Gwen is a go-getter who works hard to achieve her goals, not just academically, but life in general, too. In fact, during her college years, Gwen and her friends took Mandarin language courses for three semesters because they were such big fans of the Taiwanese boy band, F4!

If anything, Gwen proved to us that it doesn't matter if you come from a small town or a big one, or if you've studied in a private or a public school. What's important is you have the grit, perseverance, and belief in oneself to fuel your dreams and (in her case, literally) reach for the stars. (via


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Mara Agner
Assistant Lifestyle and Features Editor
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