Langley Research Center Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

On September 26, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. in the Pearl Young Theater, Langley Research Center is presenting “Hispanic American Tradition, History and Culture” with international keynote speaker and author, J.A. Rodriguez, Jr.

Join Langley for this entertaining and engaging take on the Hispanic American tradition, history and culture.

This celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month is brought to you by the Hispanic Employee Advisory Committee (HEAC) and the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs (OEOP).

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at NASA Headquarters

We are proud to present this year’s keynote speaker for NASA Headquarters’ Hispanic Heritage Month event… Ginger Kerrick. She is the first Hispanic female flight director in the history of NASA. Flight directors play a critical role in the success of our Nation’s human spaceflight missions. They sit at the helm during a human spaceflight, responsible for the success of missions and the highly trained teams of engineers and scientists that make them possible.

Hosted by the Hispanic Outreach and Leadership Alliance (HOLA) in Partnership with the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management Division (EODM), “One Voice, Nuestras Tradiciones” will take place on Tuesday, September 25th at 11 a.m. in the James Webb Auditorium, 300 E Street, SW D.C. Come join us as we highlight and celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture.

The event will conclude with a live performance by Pa’Gozar Latin Band and is open to the public.

Meet ODEO’s Director of the Complaints Management Division: Richard N. Reback

Rick Reback serves as the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity’s Director of the Complaints and Programs Division. Rick brings many years of service and a strong commitment to fairness and transparency in Government operations.

Rick is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Texas School Law. He clerked for the Honorable Thomas M. Reavley, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and served at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as Counsel to the Inspector General, joining DHS at its creation. Well-versed in employment law, he also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C. Immediately prior to NASA, Rick was Acting General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel at the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, an independent commission with oversight of the safety and security of the country’s nuclear arsenal.

As Director of Complaints Management, Rick works to create an inclusive, productive environment in which our workforce will have fair, thorough, and timely complaints processing. His goal is “to better serve our clients and show them that the Agency cares about our workforce and is constantly moving toward making it a better place for all.”

Rick brings creative and innovative ideas to his work. ODEO is very excited to have him as a team member!

Kennedy Space Center Diversity and Inclusion Activities

Kennedy Space Center has had some great Diversity and Inclusion events this year, with more still to come!

Native American Heritage Initiative (NAHI):
A group of college students and their faculty advisors from Northwest Indian College and Chief Dull Knife College recently toured NASA’s Kennedy Space Center with an opportunity for an up-close look at career opportunities. All were members of winning teams that successfully flew high-powered rockets in the First Nations Launch competition.

The competition is funded by NASA and administered by the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium. It provides a chance for students to design, build and launch high-powered rockets in the annual competition at Kansasville, Wisconsin:

Kennedy Networking Opportunities for Women (KNOW):
In March KNOW invited JoAnn Morgan, former Director of External Relations and Business Development Directorate, to be a guest speaker for their Women’s History Month Celebration. In the poster below Ms. Morgan is sitting in the firing room for Apollo 11 launch. (She was the only woman in the firing room for Apollo 11.)
WHM Poster 18 18×24 (005)

Asian Pacific American Connection (APAC):
APAC hosted an event, “United Our Vision By Working Together” with entertainment of music and performances.
APAC 2018 event 508 flyer

Disability Awareness & Action Working Group (DAAWG):
Temple Grandin was the guest speaker for the National Disability Employment Awareness Month event last year and KSC hosted the 17th Annual Disability Mentoring Day for local students. This year Kennedy will be having an informational fair with local vendors:
SP-2018-07-830-KSC DAAWG NDEAM Vendor Fair Poster

KSC’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Employees & Allies Network will be participating in a several upcoming pride parades in October including the huge parade in Orlando, “Come Out with Pride.”

And the Hispanic Outreach & Leadership Alliance (HOLA) will be hosting an event with a guest speaker for Hispanic Heritage Month in October:
Keep up the great work, Kennedy!

Diversity and Equal Opportunity Associate Administrator Steve Shih Visits Wallops Flight Facility

On Sept. 7, 2018, Steve Shih, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity, visited the Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) (an organization of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center) on Wallops Island near Chincoteague, VA. During his visit, Steve had an opportunity to view the Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE) launch on a NASA Black Brant IX suborbital sounding rocket and learn about the important work done at WFF, including: mobile launch capability, flight services for scientific researchers and instruments, aircraft used at the facility, partnerships with other agencies and commercial companies, machine shop fabrication, and STEM engagement. Steve also learned more about the history of WFF, dating back to the days of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and later NASA’s Langley Research Center.

See photos of the ASPIRE launch on a suborbital sounding rocket:

The More the Variety, the Better the Society: Diversity and Inclusion at Ames Research Center

Ames Research Center (ARC) hosted its 7th Annual Diversity and Inclusion Day: “The More the Variety, the Better the Society” on August 9, 2018. D&I Day is a forum to share information about cultures – countries, extracurricular activities, lifestyles, and more. This event coincided with the end-of-the-summer barbecue, safety fair, and student poster session so there was a huge turnout!

Many groups, such as the Women’s Influence Network, Toastmasters, LGBTQ Advisory Group, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and Hispanic Advisory Committee for Employees shared about their mission and activities. The Ames Disability Advocates constructed a wheelchair obstacle course to demonstrate the nuances of navigating everyday challenges in a wheelchair. The African American Advisory Group designed a Soul Train-themed tent and games, while the Ames Veteran Committee, in addition to partnering with the AFSP, highlighted military memorabilia. The Asian American Pacific and Islander Advisory group showcased the variety of Asian cultures through traditional clothing, and the Native American Advisory Committee connected with the attendees through pottery, jewelry, and literature like Moonshot: the Indigenous Comics Collection.

ODEO had several interactive displays, the first of which was “If Ames Had 100 People,” comparing Ames in 1993 to Ames in 2018, and encouraged attendees to question why demographics have changed. ODEO also offered the “D&I 365 Challenge,” which provided participants with a list of 365 diversity and inclusion actions, and challenged them to commit to an act of diversity every day. ODEO appealed to the scientist in everyone with “D+I = You’re Part of the Solution” – a periodic table of diversity elements designed to inspire attendees to think of diversity beyond race or gender. Participants were invited to vote for the most impactful diversity element as a subtle way for ODEO to conduct an employee survey and collect data!

Johnson Space Center Hispanic Employee Resource Group Receives Innovation Team Award

The Johnson Space Center (JSC) Hispanic Employee Resource Group (HERG) has been selected to receive the JSC Director’s Innovation Team Award on September 11, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. in the Teague Auditorium.

In 2015, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans recognized the HERG as a “Bright Spot.” The HERG has led a variety of initiatives to increase engagement by Hispanics both domestically and internationally.

The HERG has established multiple partnerships by its relationship with the Mexican Space Agency (AEM), including attendance at the Mexican Science and Technology Week (MSTW). For 5 consecutive years, 100,000+ people have interacted with HERG members, viewed NASA exhibits, and learned about the work done at JSC – also allowing the HERG to foster relationships with other entities such as the Space Generation Advisory Council.

A significant accomplishment was the trilateral Space Act Agreement (SAA) in 2016 between NASA, AEM, and the Mexican Directorate General for Educational Television to produce a Spanish version of the NASA program “Space to Ground,” a weekly program that summarizes activities onboard the International Space Station (ISS). “Espacio a Tierra” reaches 22 countries and 58+ million people. The SAA also allows for NASA-themed Spanish educational materials; the HERG develops and disseminates these materials. The visibility of “Espacio a Tierra” also led to other opportunities with Spanish-language media including Telemundo, Univision, and Televisa, featuring several JSC Hispanic female employees in TECHNOLOchicas.

The HERG’s partnerships also support space exploration. HERG members work with employees from Ames Research Center as technical advisors for AztechSat, the first Mexican payload to the ISS and with a group of students from Bogota, Columbia for EVA suit prototypes for NASA.

In addition, the HERG also led the creation of “Space Loteria,” a bilingual educational outreach tool that teaches space vocabulary in a culturally relevant way. This bingo-like game from Mexico features NASA communications priorities including Earth Right Now, ISS, Mars, Solar System and Beyond, Aeronautics, and Technology. “Space Loteria” has become a flagship educational outreach activity for NASA. In addition to reaching thousands of students, parents, and teachers, it’s also provided free to the public through a partnership with the NASA STEM Education Professional Development Collaborative.

The HERG has become a catalyst for innovation by collaborating with multiple NASA centers, programs, contractors, grant recipients, and international organizations. The return on investment of these groundbreaking successes in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and education has been remarkable. For this reason, the HERG is well deserving of a JSC Director’s Innovation Team Award.

Armstrong Bring-Your-Children-to-Work Day Inspires Kids with an International Space Station Q&A

On June 28, 2018 Armstrong Flight Research Center hosted its biannual Bring-Your-Children-to-Work Day. The day was filled with fun activities and included a live International Space Station (ISS) downlink for the first time. Over 350 children participated, including local Girl Scout troops and robotics teams. The activities included STEM workshops, a Mission Control Center tour, Life Support, a Model Shop tour, a weather balloon launch, sitting in a mockup F-15 cockpit, gesture controlled computing, and participating in mentor interviews.

The highlight of the day was the ISS downlink, where employees and children enjoyed a live question-and-answer session with Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor, a member of the Expedition 56/57 crew that launched to the orbiting laboratory in June. This was the first time for the Agency that a downlink was hosted in an aircraft hangar. The children also experienced a sonic boom and an amazing F-15 flyover to complete their day! Armstrong Bring Your Children to Work Day is one of the best days at work for employees as they get to share with children the work done here and inspire the next generation.

Marshall Space Flight Center to Host 25th Marshall Small Business Alliance Meeting on September 20

On Thursday, September 20, 2018, the Marshall Space Flight Center will host the 25th Marshall Small Business Alliance Meeting at the Davidson Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

This event is open to anyone with an interest in the NASA/MSFC marketplace. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to network with MSFC Senior Managers, Acquisition Personnel, Small Business Technical Coordinators, and Small and Large Business Prime Contractor representatives.

If interested in attending the event, contact the MSFC Small Business Office at 256-544-0267.