Ever want to talk with someone in space? UMass-Dartmouth is offering the opportunity to speak with their own astronaut, Capt. Scott Tingle, live from the International Space Station, Monday, March 4, from noon to 2 p.m. in the university’s main auditorium.

If you are of certain age, you grew up with the promise of going into space, but I bet no one back then dreamt of talking to someone while they were in orbit.

I had a chance to interview Scott, a 1987 graduate before he went on his mission and what an honor that was for a kid who grew up dreaming of space.

UMass-Dartmouth, rightfully, is taking great pride in Scott’s accomplishments. In their alumni magazine, Scott talks about how he always dreamt about being an astronaut. With a lot of hard work in the classroom and in his military service, he reached his dream. No one wonder the university is so proud of him.

Scott grew up in Randolph, went to Blue Hills Regional, and then worked hard to get into the engineering program at SMU (the previous UMD). His first year, he took math and sciences classes to get into engineering.

To get to the International Space Station, Scott earned a masters from Purdue University, which is known as “The Cradle of Astronauts,” including Neil Armstrong being a graduate. I remember watching Armstrong becoming the first man to walk on the moon. Neil is Scott’s idol, according to the UMass-Dartmouth alumni magazine.

After being a combat Naval pilot, where he flew missions against Al-Queda and the Taliban in Iraq and Afghanistan, Scott reached his dream as an astronaut.

“It is not often that a student tells his professor that his goal is to become an astronaut,” said Ron DiPippo, Chancellor Professor Mechanical Engineering, in the UMD alumni magazine.

After Scott speaks in the afternoon, there will be a panel discussion in the Claire T. Carney Library Living Room at 7 p.m. Dr. Alan Hirshfield, professor physics and Lauren Guertin, Class of 2013, will moderate the conversation.

Phil Paleologos is the morning host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6-10 a.m. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420