NASA opportunities for faculty at minority institutions: Reflections of NASA administrator fellows

Louis Everett, Paul Racette, Scott Askew, Rafic Bachnak, Belay Demoz, Paul Mogan

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


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 twoyear 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2007
Event114th Annual ASEE Conference and Exposition, 2007 - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: Jun 24 2007Jun 27 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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