Trinity School Alumni Spotlight
Dr. Sharmi Singh Watkins was a Trinity lifer, graduating as valedictorian in 1997. She made a perfect score on the Math section of the SAT. Dr. Watkins holds a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). Her residency training in internal medicine and aerospace medicine was completed at UTMB, where she also served as the Chief Resident of the Preventive Medicine Residency programs. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Preventive Medicine. Dr. Watkins has authored numerous technical publications on topics related to the delivery of medical care on long duration missions. She is a member of the MIT Educational Council and the Center for Space Medicine and is an Associate Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association.
Prior to joining NASA in 2015, Dr. Watkins was a professor of Clinical Preventive Medicine and Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch. At NASA, she has served in multiple roles, including lead scientist for the NASA Human Research Program (HRP) Exploration Medical Capability Element; HRP Program Clinician, Human Health and Performance subject matter expert for Commercial Crew Program and ISS-certified Flight Surgeon. Dr. Watkins is a Medical Officer serving as the Assistant Director for Exploration in the Human Health and Performance Directorate at the NASA Johnson Space Center. In this role, she coordinates and integrates the health and performance activities for NASA’s exploration efforts, including the Orion Program and the Lunar Orbital Platform - Gateway.
Dr. Sean Roden attended Trinity School and received an associates degree in paramedic technology from Austin Community College; a Bachelor of Arts in kinesiology and exercise physiology from The University of Texas at Austin; Master of Science in Genetics from The University of Texas Permian Basin; Doctor of Medicine from The University of Texas Medical Branch. He then completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at Scott and White Hospital, his fellowship in Aerospace Medicine and he earned his Masters of Public Health at The University of Texas Medical Branch in coordination with NASA.
After graduating with his postdoctoral training from Scott and White, Dr. Roden returned to Midland, Texas and practiced emergency medicine. As well as practicing in rural West Texas along the border of Texas and Mexico, he developed his company - Texas Flying Doctors, and was an FAA aviation medical examiner practicing from his clinic on the family ranch while supporting the ranching community that utilized aircraft for operations.
Dr. Roden was selected to the NASA/UTMB deputy crew surgeon for Expedition 7 in 2002. He supported Expedition 8 landing operations as the NASA/DOD liaison flight surgeon in Kustani, Kazakhstan. He was the lead flight surgeon for Expedition 10 and selected as lead flight surgeon for ISS medical operations in 2004. Between 2006 and 2008, Dr. Roden supported AOD (Aircraft Operations Directorate) as a deputy flight surgeon and medical officer in the C-9 Reduced Gravity Flight program. In October of 2012, UTMB Center for Polar Medical Operations (CPMO) selected him as medical officer for the Amundsen –Scott South Pole Station for the Austral Summer. He was selected as Medical Director of Johnson Space Center Clinical Medical Operations in June 2015, and in 2016 he was assigned as ballistic support surgeon for Expedition 56 and lead crew surgeon for Expedition 60.
During their remarks to Upper School students while visiting the Trinity campus , Dr. Roden and Dr. Watkins said they are grateful for their Trinity experience and the faculty’s high expectations for a strong work ethic, critical thinking skills, and, most of all, character development. “Without a doubt, we knew we were genuinely loved and cared about,” Watkins said. “To this day, I treasure my memories, relationships and experiences from my time as a Trinity student.