By Chloé Margulis
Astronaut Mike Hopkins concluded the 2014-2015 “Express- Yo-Faith” series with a lecture on April 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the Interfaith Center. His talk highlighted the Catholic point of view of how science and faith complement each other.
“As Brother Guy discussed last semester, the entire Scientific Method was developed within the context of the faith, thus affirming the Catholic position that religion and science are not in opposition of one another,” Father Ted Brown explained.
Hopkins discussed his experience in space with the aid of pictures he took, and how this experience deepened his faith as a devout Catholic.
This lecture was the last for the semester of the “Express-Yo- Faith” series hosted by the Newman Club. Prominent professionals discussed their lives, faith, profession, and how the three intersect with each other.
The series at LIU is modeled after Boston College’s “Agape Latte” series, which now encourages other campuses in America to become their affiliates, according to an article published by Boston College’s student newspaper, The Gavel. “LIU hopes to become an official affiliate of the Agape Latte program and change its ‘Express-Yo-Faith’ series to ‘Agape Latte’ next semester,” Father Brown said.
At Boston College, this is a monthly program that informs students about faith and religion in a social environment. Stonehill College, Manhattan College, and Babson College are just a few universities at which students created events like “Agape Latte.”
“Express-Yo-Faith” has been held every semester since last fall. Last semester, Coach Collins, Kerry Webber, the Associate Editor of America Magazine and author of Mercy in the City, and Vatican Astronomer Brother Guy Consolmango spoke at respective lectures. This semester, the series includes lectures by Dr. Michael Soupios and Hopkins.
Hopkins was in the International Space Station for six months in late 2013–2014. He has a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from University of Illinois, and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Stanford University. He has received two Air Force Commendation Medals, three Air Force Achievement Medals, and countless others.
Upon graduation from Stanford in 1992, Hopkins was commissioned as second lieutenant in the US Air Force. In 2005, he was assigned to the United States Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office at the Pentagon, where he served as a project engineer and program manager. In July 2009, he was one among 14 members of the 20th NASA astronaut class. By 2011, he graduated from Astronaut Candidate Training, which included preparations for space travel such as intensive instruction in International Space Station systems, physiological training, flight training, and survival training.
On September 25, 2013, Hopkins launched to the International Space Station as a part of Expedition 37/38. While aboard the space station, Hopkins conducted U.S. spacewalks to replace a degraded pump module in 12 hours and 58 minutes. One hundred and sixty-six days later, on March 10, 2014, Hopkins returned to Earth, having completed 2,656 orbits around the world, traveling over 70 million miles.
Plans will begin over the summer to create the program for the next “Express-Yo-Faith” series in fall 2015.