NASA, UMES partner to promote STEM careers at Wallops, Goddard

NASA and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore officially extended their partnership to continue to expand workforce, research and educational opportunities.

Dennis Andrucyk, director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and Heidi M. Anderson, UMES president, signed the agreement Tuesday, Sept. 7, that creates a pipeline of students pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers to Goddard facilities.

According to the NASA overview of the program, “academic studies, internships, on-site project engagement activities, and opportunities to support mission work alongside Wallops professionals” are part of the partnership.

Impact on students

Vicleese Sloan, a UMES senior, has already taken advantage of the programs offered by NASA. After an extensive military career that included seven deployments, she returned to complete her degree.

While still in the National Guard, the full-time student now studies aviation.

“Through on-the-job training, it helped me to be successful. I still knew I needed a college education after my military career. When I spoke to my professors, they were able to find me this partnership,” Sloan said.

Jewell Thompson, a UMES senior studying general engineering, has had six internships, starting in 2015, with NASA thanks to the partnership.