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University News

Cal State Fullerton Hosts NASA Administrator’s Fellowship Program


October 15, 2004 :: No. 60

Wave Vidmar
Tracy E. Caldwell

Faculty members from throughout the region are being asked to look to the stars — and consider applying to become a NASA Administrator’s Fellow.

The national program is designed to enhance the professional development of faculty members in mathematics, science, engineering and technology at colleges and universities designated as minority-serving institutions. Fellows in the program have opportunities to work with NASA and other government officials, participate in NASA research, development and education programs and learn about scientific and engineering research methods.

Since its inception in 1997, only one faculty member from California has been awarded a NAFP fellowship — Shahin Ghazanshahi, professor of electrical engineering at Cal State Fullerton.

A regional program will be held at Cal State Fullerton Oct. 20-21 to increase awareness of the opportunities and rewards of becoming a member of this select group. It is geared for faculty and administrators from CSU and UC campuses, community colleges and private institutions of higher education. Keynote speaker will be Cal State Fullerton alumna and NASA astronaut Tracy E. Caldwell (B.S. chemistry ’93), who will return to her alma mater to address a Wednesday, Oct. 20, luncheon gathering of faculty members.

“This is a significant recruitment event during which time NASA administrators and researchers can meet talented faculty members interested in learning about the NASA Administrator’s Fellowship Program,” said Linda Patton, director of grants and contracts for Cal State Fullerton. She will welcome members and provide an introduction to the Regional Awareness Day program.

“It’s wonderful to have an organization like NASA coming to campus, creating an awareness of what programs the agency has to offer and sharing the range of opportunities we can participate in,” said Raman Unnikrishnan, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “Such events have importance for a variety of reasons, including helping faculty members understand the special character of NASA’s research centers.”

Scheduled speakers include Gilbert A. Knowles, project manager of NASA’s Administrator’s Fellowship Program, and representatives from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Dryden Flight Research and Ames Research centers.

Also speaking will be Ghazanshahi, who was among six in the nation named a 2004 Administrator’s Fellow. Since August, she has been conducting research at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The center is responsible for remote-controlled earth orbiting and sounding rocket missions, including instrument design and development, spacecraft engineering, satellite tracking, communications, and data acquisition and interpretation.

“My experience with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is exposing me to new ideas, technology and practical applications of engineering,” said Ghazanshahi, a member of the CSUF faculty since 1985. “By taking part in the creation of new concepts and design, I am gaining a greater understanding of cutting-edge technologies and innovative thought, allowing me to better prepare my students for the future of NASA and our industry.”

For more information about the program, call Cal State Fullerton’s Office of Grants and Contracts at 657-278-2106.

Media representatives are welcome to attend the noon-1:30 p.m. Oct. 20 luncheon featuring keynote speaker Tracy Caldwell.
Please RSVP by contacting Pamela McLaren of Public Affairs
at 657-278-4852 or pmclaren@fullerton.edu

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