Contact: Jerry Berg
Media Relations Department
(256) 544-0034

RELEASE: 00-173

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., has
reached an agreement with East Tennessee State University in
Johnson City to work jointly on research, education and the transfer
of new technologies to U.S. industries.

The Memorandum of Understanding, signed today during the
Tennessee Valley 2000 Regional Economic Summit in Huntsville,
establishes the framework for collaboration to enhance both
Marshall and the university’s missions in science and technology.

“By leveraging the complementary capabilities of both
organizations, we can discover better solutions to challenges in
design graphics, engineering, technology and education,” said
Marshall Center Director Art Stephenson. “Our working together
has the potential to benefit the region and the nation.”

The agreement was signed by Stephenson and Dr. James A.
Hales, dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology at
East Tennessee State University. Hales becomes the university’s
first Special Assistant to the President for Economic Development
on Aug. 1, and will serve as a full-time liaison between the business
and industry community in the region and East Tennessee State.

The Marshall Center is NASA’s premier organization for
development of space transportation and propulsion systems, as
well as NASA’s leader in microgravity research. East Tennessee
State University enrolls nearly 12,000 students and offers more
than 100 degree programs.

The newly named Scott M. Niswonger Advanced Visualization Lab
at East Tennessee State University is recognized worldwide in the
field of computer animation and graphics and visualization, drawing
students from all parts of the U.S. as well as Europe and Asia. With
this computer animation track, students may specialize in
broadcast/special effects, character animation, product
design/marketing or visual simulation.

The university’s program has become one of the anchors of the
Johnson City Med-Tech corridor. Imaging, animation and simulation
provide numerous opportunities for collaborative projects
throughout the medical community, and is serving as a focal point
for economic development.