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Volunteer Spotlight

Volunteers in the Gamma Ray

Sandra Ambrosi

photo of sandra

Sandra Ambrosi has volunteered over 1000 hours at the Fleet since May 2011, primarily as a Museum Ambassador. She also helps as an Event Ambassador from time to time. Sandra makes each and every guest she encounters feel welcomed and enthusiastically reminds children to “Touch everything! Play hard!” She personifies our mission by creating a fun environment that encourages and inspires learning. Sandra is also one of the first to show each new volunteer the ropes, making sure they have a rewarding and enjoyable experience, as well, and feel confident in their role. She has keen observation skills and is always attentive to how our programs can be improved. We greatly value her input, energy and dedication to the Fleet!
Meet Sandra...

  1. Tell us a little about yourself.
    As I enter my 75th year, I am feeling very fortunate to be healthy enough to do this. I am a retired nurse with an active license (I’ve had it for 50 years). I moved here 25 years ago from Connecticut after getting my second Master’s degree.* I moved here for the weather, and I’ve never been sorry! I was the second president of the National Association for Healthcare Quality, currently sit on the Suicide Prevention Council, and belong to the Medical Reserve Corps. I also volunteer with the La Jolla Symphony, Burn Institute, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and the Registrar of Voters. I have eight grandchildren, ranging in ages from seven to 27.
    *Sandra has a BS in Nursing from Columbia, an MN with a specialty in Pathophysiology from the University of Washington, and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Hartford.
  2. What is your favorite exhibition at the Fleet?
    Cellular Journey (fits with my nursing background)
  3. What is something you have learned while volunteering here?
    I have learned a lot about astronomy and space!
  4. What are most proud of in your service to the Fleet?
    Supporting the natural learning instincts of children. It gives me great pleasure to see their faces, engulfed in what the science center is all about.
  5. The Fleet is all about inspiring lifelong learning. Who has inspired you?
    The person who inspired me most was my dad. My dad died of a ruptured aneurysm at age 50. He was a genius. He had two masters from MIT at age 19: one in Electrical Engineering and one in Aerospace. He had the patience of Job and was an excellent teacher. He was multi-talented and multi-dimensional. He sang in a choir, played golf, was an amateur boxer, quoted Shakespeare, and did 50 push-ups on the living room floor every night.
  6. If you could go anywhere in space, what would you want to see?
    I have absolutely no desire to go to space! If I had to pick something, I would pick Saturn. It has always amazed me with its rings. It is so different from all the rest of the planets.

Thank you, Sandra! 

What is a gamma ray?

Gamma rays have the smallest wavelengths and the most energy of any wave in the electromagnetic spectrum. They are produced by the hottest and most energetic objects in the universe, such as neutron stars and pulsars, supernova explosions, and regions around black holes. The volunteers we will highlight on this page have put so much energy and so much of themselves into their service at the Fleet; we figured if we were going to shine a light on them, it had better be a really awesome light. Learn more about gamma rays.