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Nasa Opportunities For Faculty At Minority Institutions: Reflections Of Nasa Administrator Fellows

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

NAFP Panel Discussion

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1098.1 - 12.1098.21



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Paper Authors


Louis Everett University of Texas-El Paso

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Louis J. Everett is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas El Paso. Dr. Everett is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Texas and has research interests in the use of technology in the classroom. His technical research interests include robotics, machine design, dynamics and control systems. He began his NAFP tenure in 2006 and is presently with the Mobility and Manipulation group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena California.

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Paul Racette NASA


Scott Askew NASA

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R. Scott Askew received his Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1989, and has worked in robotics at the NASA Johnson Space Center for over 15 years specializing in motor control and sensing for mechatronic systems. From 1997 through 2003 Mr. Askew served as the principal electrical engineer on NASA’s Robonaut project ( In 2004 he was selected as a member of cohort 8 of the NAFP. During his NAFP tenure Mr. Askew worked at Salish Kootenai College ( and Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute ( teaching and contributing to the development of engineering programs at Tribal Colleges.

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Rafic Bachnak Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

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Rafic (Ray) Bachnak is a Professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (A&M-CC). He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Ohio University in 1983, 1984, and 1989, respectively. Dr. Bachnak was previously on the faculty of Franklin University and Northwestern State University.

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Belay Demoz


Paul Mogan NASA

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Paul A. Mogan is a Project Manager at NASA John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Earlier in his career with NASA Mr. Mogan was an instrumentation systems design engineer and managed a lab that developed instrumentation technology. He began his NAFP tenure in 2005 during which he developed and taught a course in Biomedical Engineering at Morgan State University in Baltimore Maryland. He then took assignments at the RAND Corporation and at the National Academy of Public Administration in Washington DC. Mr. Mogan is currently serving in the Office of the Chief Engineer at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

NASA Opportunities For Minority Serving Institutions: Reflections Of NASA Administrator Fellows Abstract

The NASA Administrator Fellowship Program (NAFP) is a highly-successful program established to improve the capacity of minority institutions and to respond to NASA’s research needs by providing a two-year professional development program for faculty from Minority Institutions (MI) in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines as well as to NASA employees. The program does this by placing selected NASA employees in a minority institution and university faculty at a NASA facility.

Established in 1997, this year the program celebrates its 10 year anniversary. To date there are a total of 82 Fellows who are either in or have completed the two- year program. Each Fellow has made unique and substantial contributions to the partnering MI and NASA center. Many if not most of the alliances between NASA centers and MIs are maintained through continual partnering after the fellowship. A key factor contributing to the success of NAFP is the continued commitment of the Fellows to serve and develop the capacity of MIs after the fellowship ends.

This paper describes the NASA Administrator’s Fellowship Program as a valuable opportunity for faculty at minority institutions to gain valuable research experience at a NASA center and for NASA employees to enhance their professional experience through engaging minority institutions and the students they serve. Accomplishments over the first ten years illustrate the success of the program. The paper discusses how to prepare for the experience by providing a list of best practices. Practical issues include how to identify a host institution and a research/teaching topic. The best practices also address how to maximize the program benefits both individually and for the institutions and ideas of how to sustain the benefits. Through first person testimonials from the contributing authors, the paper presents personal experiences from Fellow and what was done by Fellows, what we would do again and what we would do differently. The paper concludes by describing how to get involved.


The challenges in STEM education are well documented.1,2,3 For example, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Program for International Student Assessment evaluated and ranked 31 countries in their performance of math and science education. This study found that the US ranked #19 in mathematics and #14 in science. Science and education jobs play an increasingly important role in the U.S. economy; yet the US science and engineering degree production lags growth in science and engineering

Everett, L., & Racette, P., & Askew, S., & Bachnak, R., & Demoz, B., & Mogan, P. (2007, June), Nasa Opportunities For Faculty At Minority Institutions: Reflections Of Nasa Administrator Fellows Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1754

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