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  • 04 Jan 2017 9:03 AM | Gina Jones (Administrator)

    https://www.messagemagazine.com/reporters-stories/nasas-hidden-figures-helped-us-boldly-go-no-man-gone/


    Today's Hidden Figures: Meet the Black Women Working at NASA


    Hidden Figures tells the story of three women of color working at NASA in the 1960s, without whom John Glenn's historic space orbit wouldn't have been possible. It was a time when African Americans were denied rights as basic as sitting at a lunch counter, yet Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson sent a man into space.

    In celebration, Marie Claire spoke with six African American women working at NASA today, who oversee everything from rocket system designs, to vacuum chambers, to space-launch software. They're a reminder that today's black female leaders aren't hidden. They're at the forefront of what makes NASA great.


    What's it like to be a black woman at NASA today?

    "It's an honor to be a black woman working in a technical field at NASA. When I look around in meetings, there aren't many people who look like me in the room. I am blessed to work on a team that actually values diversity of thought—a team that seeks my input daily and recognizes my strength of being able to offer a different perspective in problem solving." —Reagan Malone; Technical Assistant, Space Launch System Program

    "Black women are treated more equally than in the earlier days. It's an honor to see women of color that look like myself, talk like myself, are shaped like myself, and think like myself in high positions—and see them getting recognized for doing great things." —Laveda Jackson; Systems Engineer

    "Though NASA supports diversity and inclusion, when I sit in technical meetings and look around the room, I am reminded that black women are still very much underrepresented in science and engineering here. I am hopeful that one day in a room of 50 peers, maybe I would see at least a few other faces that look like mine. But instead of just being hopeful, I recruit, I speak out, and I encourage young black women to join our ranks. NASA is the best platform to motivate young black girls to dream to be in math or science fields, so I utilize it every chance I get." —Mary J. Lobo; Space Simulation Facility Manager

    "Though NASA supports diversity and inclusion, when I sit in technical meetings and look around the room, I am reminded that black women are still very much underrepresented in science and engineering here. I am hopeful that one day in a room of 50 peers, maybe I would see at least a few other faces that look like mine."

    What would you tell Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson today?

    "Thank you for never giving up. They proved that black women are capable of working side-by-side in a field that is traditionally dominated by white males. They did it during an era where black people were fighting to have equal civil liberties. They did it so that I can see my dreams come true by being able to work on a program that is building the largest rocket in the world: a rocket that will take humans farther into space than they have ever been. Their stories have reminded me to persevere when times get tough. I have to endure so that black women at NASA after me may see a more diverse agency." —Reagan Malone

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    "You all fought for what you believed in without neglecting the work you were paid to do. You did not sacrifice integrity to make a point. Thank you all for showing the world that sometimes you just have to 'make a way out of no way' to get the job done. —Dr. Brenda L. Ellis; Computer Engineer

    "I would thank Katherine Johnson for showing resilience to keep fighting for respect and recognition in a room of people who didn't want to see her prevail, although they knew she was well-qualified. I would thank Dorothy Vaughan for taking the initiative to educate herself and other black women colleagues instead of looking out for herself only, like so many others do nowadays...I would thank Mary Jackson for striving to become a black female engineer. They all showed patience, consistency, persistence, and a love for education so that I can share the dream of being an 'equal rights' engineer here at NASA." —Laveda Jackson




    What needs to change before the next generation starts work?

    "The next generation of NASA employees will come from a diverse group of innovators and trailblazers, and if we want to continue to attract the best and the brightest, we have to show them an organizational structure that is representative of their uniqueness." —Rosalynne Strickland; Engineer, Marshall Space Flight Center

    "I would like to see the space industry as a whole further emphasizing diversity in problem-solving groups. The issues we will face in commercial spaceflight, humans living on Mars, or journeying beyond will not be resolved with the opinions of a few." —Mary J. Lobo

    "Before the next generation starts work, I would like initiatives that encourage all young people to pursue science regardless of gender." —Carol M. Tolbert; Aerospace Engineer/Project Manager

    What impact will the movie have on NASA?

    "When I began my career, I was constantly asked if the offers I received were due to affirmative action. There should never be a doubt that affirmative action helped a lot of minorities to gain employment, but without preparation and skill, there was no way that minorities would have been able to remain employed. This movie shows that proper preparation and skill is what is needed in the workforce and, with the right opportunity, preparation and skill put a man into space and changed the course of space travel." —Dr. Brenda L. Ellis

    "The story of these three women is important in influencing the narrative about the contribution of women—and particularly African American women—to our country's historic achievements. We didn't just participate in critical movements of the time to address our nation's tangible issues about war, poverty, and civil rights, we also had a prominent role in the fantastic goal of space travel. Hopefully the movie will affect people's unconscious bias to help them see us as an integral part of every aspect of our nation's advancement and recognize that we must have a seat at the table too." —Mary J. Lobo

  • 04 Jan 2017 8:25 AM | Gina Jones (Administrator)


    https://www.messagemagazine.com/reporters-stories/nasas-hidden-figures-helped-us-boldly-go-no-man-gone/


    Message Magazine -


    NASA’s Hidden Figures Helped Us Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before

    by David Person

    The little-known contribution of mathematicians who happened to be African American women is the subject of a new movie illustrating just how far we’ve come.

    A new episode of the Amazon series American Girl titled “Melody 1963: Love Has to Win” begins with the title character fantasizing about being an astronaut. There’s just one problem: It’s 1963 and Melody is black. And most people – her friends, school mates and even her own grandfather – don’t believe that an African-American child could ever be an astronaut. Only Melody’s mother encourages her dreams – even after learning that her hair dryer had been converted into a space helmet.

    Few people know that a group of real-life Melodies defied the earth-bound biases of society and had successful careers with NASA – not as astronauts, but as mathematicians. Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan are three of these women. Their stories are told in the new movie “Hidden Figures,” starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe.

    NASA Director A First Because Of the Agency’s Hidden Figures

    NASA Director Charles Bolden was among those who didn’t know. He only learned about Johnson and the other women in 2015.

    NASA Director Charles BoldenNASA Administrator Charles Bolden pauses for a moment in Building AE at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station after having watched and celebrated the Orion spacecraft splash down in the Pacific Ocean more than three hours after the spacecraft launched onboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 37, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Orion spacecraft orbited Earth twice, reaching an altitude of approximately 3,600 miles above Earth before landing. No one was aboard Orion for this flight test, but the spacecraft is designed to allow us to journey to destinations never before visited by humans, including an asteroid and Mars. Photo credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

    “I was blown away by the story of this incredible woman and how even as a little girl, her talent was recognized,” Bolden told Message by email. Bolden himself holds a unique place in NASA history. In 2009, he was appointed to be the agency’s first African-American director.

    But like Johnson and the other women featured in ‘Hidden Figures” his achievements came despite bigoted low expectations. United States Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina was one of Bolden’s doubters. Bolden, a South Carolina native, wanted Thurmond to recommend him for an appointment to the Naval Academy.

    “No way are you going to get an appointment from me to go to the Naval Academy,” Bolden recalled Thurmond telling him during an interview with NPR. “It was clear why they were not supporting me and it was because of the times. They were just not about to appoint a black to the Naval Academy or to any Academy.”

    Bolden didn’t give up. He reached out to Vice President Lyndon Johnson, with whom he had been corresponding during his junior year in high school. Johnson went to work on Bolden’s behalf. The future Marine Corps pilot and NASA astronaut eventually got his Naval Academy recommendation from Congressman William Dawson of Chicago.

    On Being The First

    Bolden believes that NASA has made tremendous progress regarding gender and racial equity. His own appointment as agency director is proof of that. But he knows that all isn’t perfect at NASA.

    “The victories for racial and gender rights were not achieved easily or quickly,” he said. “Our work is not done.”

    Audrey Robinson, Marshall Space Flight CenterAudrey Robinson is the first African American woman to be named chief counsel at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Hunstville, Alabama. Robinson is the first African American woman to hold the post in any of NASAs centers.

    Audrey Robinson agrees. She, like Bolden, became part of NASA history in 2011 when she was named Chief Counsel for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama. She was the first black female in all of NASA’s centers to receive this appointment.

    “There are many meetings and things that I go to where I am the only black or the only female,” Robinson told Message. “And sometimes the only black and female in the room when I look around.”

    Of course, Robinson’s path to NASA was easier than the one walked decades earlier by the women of “Hidden Figures.” She was accepted into the agency’s Summer High School Apprenticeship Research Program (SHARP) in the early 1980s while a student at Oakwood Adventist Academy. After graduation, she remained at MSFC as a summer intern. After graduating from Oakwood University (then Oakwood College) in 1986, Robinson started working full-time at MSFC as a materials engineer. She also went to graduate school, eventually earning a Master’s in Management and a law degree. Before serving as MSFC’s Chief Counsel, Robinson was the Director of the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity at the center. Both roles undoubtedly have added to her awareness about of the importance of NASA having an inclusive environment – and the burdens that Johnson and the other pioneering black females have had to bear.

    Women Of Strong Constitution

    “They had to be women of strong constitution who had confidence and belief and faith in themselves,” Robinson said. “I’m sure that they had a community of support and their families because they couldn’t have done and accomplished what they did if they didn’t have all of that around them.”

    NASA Mathematician Katherine JohnsonNASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson was a pioneer who helped to create the complicated calculations that made space travel possible.

    An interview with the History Makers website confirms this. Katherine Johnson, the pioneering mathematician said that her father moved their family 125 miles from their family home to Institute, West Virginia, specifically so she and her siblings could go to school.

    Johnson excelled in math and graduated from West Virginia High School at 14. She earned degrees in French and mathematics from West Virginia State University (formerly West Virginia State College). She also pursued graduate studies in advanced mathematics before joining America’s space program in 1953. She worked as a research mathematician for the Langley Research Center, which was part of NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).

    By the time NACA became NASA in 1958, Johnson was doing the math that made space travel possible. She plotted the trajectory for Alan Shepard’s 1961 flight on a Mercury spacecraft that went 116 miles high and lasted a bit more than 15 minutes. Shepard was the first American to fly in space. Her calculations helped John Glenn orbit the Earth in 1962. They also allowed Apollo 11 to make its historic moon landing in 1969.

    Janeene Sams-SuttleMathematician Janeene Sams-Suttle, Marshall Space Flight Center, is one of 1,207 black women currently working for NASA.

    Uhura and Beyond

    Currently, NASA employs 1,207 black women. Nearly 300 are engineers, scientists, mathematicians or information technologists. Jeneene Sams-Suttle is one of the agency’s many mathematicians. She is the Safety and Assurance Risk Manager at MSFC. Her data analysis mitigates risks for NASA’s missions. Though she is not calculating to support flight paths or moon landings, it’s not likely she would have her job had the women of Hidden Figures not paved the way.

    “As a young girl, I would look at Star Trek and see Uhura,” Sams-Suttle told Message. “I would look at that and think, ‘I could do that. I could do that.’”

    Communications officer Nyota Uhura was the lone black character on Star Trek when the iconic series made its television debut in 1966. She was portrayed by Nichelle Nichols, one of the first African-American TV actresses in a role that defied racial stereotypes. But Sams-Shuttle wasn’t the only one inspired by Nichols’ portrayal of Uhura. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was, too. Nichols told NPR that she met him at an NAACP fundraiser during the show’s first season. King told her that Star Trek was the only show he and Mrs. King allowed their children to watch. Nichols told King that she wished she could be on the frontlines with him and the other civil rights protestors. She said King corrected her.

    “You are marching,” Nichols recalled King saying. “You are reflecting what we are fighting for.”

    So were Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan. So are Charles Bolden, Audrey Robinson, Jeneene Sams-Suttle and hundreds of other blacks at NASA. And one day, a black child will learn about them and believe she can do it too.

  • 30 Apr 2016 3:36 PM | Lakiesha Hawkins (Administrator)

    AEA member Dr. Delores Price was selected to conduct a presentation at the 2016 NEA/NCHE Conference held in San Diego, California.  Dr. Price provided an interactive workshop titled "Developing Leadership through Communications and Collaboration".  Participants were engaged in a "meet and greet" and speaking activities; as well as strategies for collaboration, and leadership analysis activities. 


    The goal of the workshop was to provide participants with actionable tips and techniques to improve leadership communication skills and to promote the conference strand of Leadership Competencies:  "Governance and Leadership", "Leading our Professions", and "Membership Growth".  This was the 50th anniversary of the conference and featured Lily Eskelsen Garcia, NEA President; Princess Moss, NEA Secretary-Treasurer; Christian Ramirez, Human Rights Director of Alliance San Diego; and Banquet Keynote Speaker Steve Pemberton, Fortune 500 Executive, and author of A Chance in the World & Voice of Change for Youth.

    Price was delighted to be a presenter and said, "Although I have presented at a number of conferences, I feel blessed to have been at a conference that allowed me to interact with our association's national leaders."  Dr. Price, twice appointed by Alabama governors to the Alabama Women's Commission is a longtime educator having served as a classroom teacher, counselor, and administrator.  At Alabama A&M University, she has served as department chair since 2003, interim dean, and is currently associate professor in the Educational Leadership Program.  She was recently elected Secretary of the Higher Education Division of AEA and Delegate to the 2016 NEA Representative Assembly. 

    Article taken from AEA Journal April, 2016

  • 11 Mar 2014 9:26 AM | Lakiesha Hawkins (Administrator)

    Michelle Jordan

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle announced the appointment of Michelle Gilliam Jordan as the city’s new Director of Planning Tuesday.

    Jordan has been with the city of Huntsville since 2009, having served in key administrative roles as the Director of Economic Development and Legislative Affairs and as the Director of Community Development.

    http://whnt.com/2014/03/04/michelle-gilliam-jordan-named-director-of-planning-for-city-of-huntsville/

  • 11 Mar 2014 9:15 AM | Lakiesha Hawkins (Administrator)

    HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - A longtime aide of U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, has been hired as an assistant vice chancellor of the University of Alabama System.

    LaFreeda Jordan will assist with government relations and economic development issues for the UA System and be based at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

     

    http://blog.al.com/breaking/2014/02/former_sen_richard_shelby_aide.html

  • 09 Oct 2013 8:26 PM | Lakiesha Hawkins (Administrator)

    NOBEL-WOMEN WELCOMES ITS 2014-2016 NATIONAL OFFICERS 

    For Immediate Release                            Contact: Waikinya Clanton 

    October 7, 2013                                                    202.507.6246                                                                                                 info@nobel-women.org

      

     

     

    Washington, DC-  On Wednesday, October 2, 2013, the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women (NOBEL-Women) installed its newly elected 2014-2016 Board of Directors. The installation service was administered by Judge Zoe Bush of DC Superior Court in Washington, DC. The 2014-2016 officers will assume office January 1, 2014. 

     

     

    NOBEL-Women 2014-2016 National Board of Directors

     

    President:

    · Rep. Laura Hall (AL)

     

    Vice President:

    · Sen. Arthenia Joyner (FL)

     

    First Vice President:

    · Rep. Karen Camper (TN)

     

    Secretary:

    · Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith (LA)

     

    Corresponding Secretary:

    · Sen. Karen Peterson (LA)

     

    Treasurer:

    · Rep. Mia Jones (FL)

     

    Financial Secretary:

    · Rep. Angela Williams (CO)

     

    National Director of Regional Coordinators:

    · Rep. Barbara Ballard (KS)

     

    Region One (I) Coordinator:

    ·Del. Meshea Poore (WV)

     

    Region Two (II) Coordinator:

    ·Del. Adrienne Jones (MD)

     

    Region Three(III) Coordinator:

    ·Sen. Mattie Hunter (IL)

     

    Region Four (IV) Coordinator:

    ·Sen. Holly Mitchell (CA)

     

    Chaplain:

    ·Rep. Dee Dawkins Haigler  (GA)

     

    Parliamentarian:

    ·Rep. Annie Mobley (NC)

     

    Historian:

    ·Hon. Diane Bajoie (LA-retired)

     

    President Emeritus:

    ·Sen. Sharon Weston Broome (LA)

     

     

     

     

    NOBEL-Women is a non-profit, non-partisan national organization originally established in 1985 to increase and promote the presence of black women in government. NOBEL-Women is composed primarily of current and former black women legislators, in addition to a number of appointed officials. In recent years, NOBEL-Women have expanded its vision to serve as a global voice to address the countless issues affecting the lives of women; despite race, class or orientation.

     

    For more information on NOBEL-Women please visit www.nobel-women.org

  • 26 Feb 2013 9:29 AM | Lakiesha Hawkins (Administrator)

     RESOLUTION NO. 13-01 in recognition of the Honorable Martha Lynn Sherrod, District Court Judge of the 23rd Judicial Circuit for 23 plus years of judicial service.

     

     

    http://www.huntsvilleal.gov/citycouncil/Agendas/kiosk/Agenda/2013-01-10/4.b.2.a.RES%2013-1.JUDGE%20LYNN%20SHERROD.pdf

  • 26 Feb 2013 9:25 AM | Lakiesha Hawkins (Administrator)

    http://blog.al.com/breaking/2013/02/brenda_martin_huntsvilles_mult.html

    Brenda Martin retirement.jpg

    Brenda Martin, who has spent the past five years trying to fulfill Mayor Tommy Battle's "One City, One Vision" campaign pledge, is retiring from the city.

    "Thank you for being a great ambassador for the city," said Battle.

     

  • 01 Nov 2012 9:09 AM | Lakiesha Hawkins (Administrator)

    HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Think you're well-educated? Try Kimberly A. Ford's resume.

    She has a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Spelman College, a master's in business from Alabama A&M, and a law degree from the University of Tennessee.

    "I want to do more," she said. "I'm always striving to do better and reach another goal.

    "I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket. If something on the left dries up and I have something on the right, I want to have multiple streams of income."

    Contunue reading at:

    http://blog.al.com/huntsville-times-business/2012/09/kimberly_ford_using_degrees_in.html

     

  • 24 Jul 2012 4:40 PM | Lakiesha Hawkins (Administrator)
     
     
     
    Decatur school board names principal, HR supervisor

    Yvette Evans, supervisor of Federal Programs for Decatur City Schools, has been named by the city school board to be supervisor of human resources.

    Supervisor of human resources is a new position that replaces the role of assistant superintendent, which was eliminated when the former assistant superintendent, Ed Nichols, was promoted to superintendent.

    Also, the school board has appointed Shannon Whitfield, a teacher at Chestnut Grove, to principal at Frances Nungester.

    STAFF REPORTS

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