Michael Mewhinney

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Phone: 650/604-3937, 650/604-9000



NASA Ames Research Center Director Dr. Henry McDonald and Dr. Henry Ponder,
CEO and President of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in
Higher Education (NAFEO), today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
to establish a partnership to explore bringing Historically Black Colleges
and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) faculty,
researchers and students to Silicon Valley as part of the planned NASA
Research Park.

“Our goal is to develop a world-class, shared-use R&D campus by partnering
with industry, academia and nonprofits in the NASA Research Park,” McDonald
said. “I am delighted to form this partnership with NAFEO and bring the
diversity, resources and talents of many minority universities to Silicon
Valley,” he added.

NAFEO is the national umbrella and public policy advocacy organization for
118 of the nation’s historically and predominantly Black colleges and
universities — public and private, large and small, urban and rural,
liberal arts, agricultural, research, scientific and technological
institutions. “Research has been missing from the programs of HBCUs and
MSIs to a major extent,” said NAFEO CEO Ponder. “This partnership with
NASA Ames Research Center will go a long way in positioning NAFEO to make
available major research opportunities for HBCUs and other MSIs. NAFEO
provides services to HBCUs and this research partnership will be a major
step to ensure the research capabilities of HBCUs and MSIs into the 21st
Century,” he said.

NASA’s Associate Administrator for Equal Opportunity Programs George Reese
echoed the excitement for the partnership. “The NASA Office of Equal
Opportunity Programs is proud to support the partnership between Ames
Research Center and NAFEO. This partnership will provide the Agency with an
opportunity to substantially leverage its investment in minority university
education and research projects and to further expand the training of
students who are underrepresented in the nation’s science, engineering and
technology workforce,” Reese said.

Ames and NAFEO will work together to plan future joint research and
development in information technology and astrobiology, along with
education partnerships, including fellowships, internships and faculty
development programs at Ames Research Center’s NASA Research Park,
according to the terms of the agreement.

“Developing a presence in Silicon Valley is important to our mission of
‘Keeping the Doors of Opportunity Open,'” Ponder said. “This research
partnership with Ames at the NASA Research Park is an outstanding
opportunity to bring faculty and students from our 118 member minority
institutions to where the action is for the New Economy,” he said.

“We have planning agreements with the University of California at Santa
Cruz, Carnegie Mellon University, San Jose State University and
Foothill-DeAnza Community College for R&D collaborations and educational
programs at the NASA Research Park,” said Ames’ Chief of Development and
Communication Michael Marlaire. “A number of the agreements include
emphasis on female and minority workforce development. Bringing minority
students and faculty from minority-serving institutions around the nation
through the NAFEO partnership will immediately expand the NASA Research
Park into a national educational resource, while connecting those
universities to Silicon Valley,” he said.

NAFEO was founded in 1969 to champion the interests of HBCUs and MSIs
through the executive, legislative, regulatory and judicial branches of
federal and state government, and to articulate the need for a system of
higher education where race, ethnicity, socio-economic status and previous
educational attainment levels are not determinants of either the quantity
or quality of higher education.

NASA Ames Research Center recently announced the Environmental
Impact Statement (EIS) process under the National Environmental Policy Act
(NEPA) regulations to develop the land at Moffett Field under NASA
ownership. The proposed developments include the area called the NASA
Research Park in which the academic, industry and nonprofit partners hope
to conduct their research and education programs with NASA Ames. NASA Ames
is partnering with organizations to conduct research in astrobiology,
nanotechnology, information technology and other aerospace-related research