Legal clerk turned activist, Erin Brockovich, once said, “Life is full of challenges. How you handle these challenges is what builds character.” There is no better example of perseverance in the face of adversity than Alina Frey, software engineer at Space Coast Intelligent Solutions (SCIS) in Melbourne. She made her way from the former Socialist Republic of Romania to the Sunshine State and has built a diverse career full of outstanding achievements.
As a child, Alina idolized Romanian gymnast and five-time Olympic gold medalist, Nadia Comăneci. For many young people with limited exposure to places and opportunities outside of Romania, Nadia represented perseverance in a way that had rarely been modeled. Alina focused the inspiration she drew from Nadia toward excelling in academics and earning a bachelor’s degree in economics.
Still, her prospects were limited until a job opportunity presented itself that would bring Alina to America – working in food service for a cruise line. “My first interaction with the United States was with Florida,” she said. “During the winter and just after communism had ended, I left a somber, gray Romania and entered a civilized world full of palm trees and sunshine. It was paradise.”
Alina’s draw to Florida was strong, even after moving to Laramie, Wyoming, to pursue a master’s degree in computer science at the University of Wyoming. She always hoped to return to “paradise.” When the time was right, the Space Coast welcomed her with open arms and allowed her to employ her expertise in logic, informatics and network intrusion detection.
Alina is now part of a team serving government and private-sector clients with hardware, software and product solutions. SCIS supports a software baseline of more than a million lines of code and more than a terabyte of data. This software is used by scientists and subject-matter experts, serving an ongoing mission in atmospheric and space nuclear treaty monitoring activities.