Eileen Nicholas, a technical writer and editor on the Human Health and Performance Contract (HHPC), is in the spotlight this month. Originally from Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, she is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX, and has been with Anadarko Industries since 2015.
Eileen’s most memorable work experience was supporting the night launch of “Atlantis” for STS-86 at KSC, as well as being present as a guest for the final launch of “Atlantis” on STS-135. Somewhere after that first launch she worked a stint for a newspaper in Seattle, Washington as an editor and proofreader. Her move to Seattle gave her the adventure of a lifetime to a place she had fallen in love with from photos, but her desire to be closer to family brought her back to the Houston area. Once back in the Houston area she found work supporting Exxon Chemical, helping them document processes and new software they were developing to track their product movement via railroad. She is, however, most proud of the work done in business development where she helped edit proposals that garnered new work.
Her typical day on the HHPC involves reading through various experiment, software and hardware documents looking for and helping resolve discrepancies and ensuring that the documents are clear and understandable. Recently she helped develop, write, and implement the guide for a new documentation approval tool used on the HHPC, specifically for International Space Station Medical Projects (ISSMP) documents, in part resulting in her receiving the Anadarko Industries, LLC WorkSmart Award in 2017 after the customer recognized the effort on this new tool as a significant contribution to the contract effort.
The oldest of three children, with parents who were originally from Oklahoma and Puerto Rico, she is blessed that all of her family now lives in the Houston area. And that includes her parents who have been married for 53 years. When not enjoying time with family she keeps herself busy by playing the violin or singing with the choir, scrapbooking, sewing, taking photographs, volunteering at her church, or cooking. And sometimes the last one includes fresh fish she catches herself. And her palate reflects her diverse personal history with Puerto Rican, Indian, and Italian being among her favorite flavors when either cooking or eating out.
Her favorite vacation was a trip to Italy with girlfriends that included one particularly memorable day, when they went on an organized wine tasting tour via bicycle around Tuscany, near Florence. She said “it was a day of great wine and great food…and many hills!” She would love to embark on a Danube River Cruise through the heart of Europe one of these days.
She cites the advice of Saint Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa) that “”Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” But perhaps even better for all of our sanity is the best advice she claims she was ever given… “being told to laugh.”