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NCS PRESENTS 2008 GOLDWATER EDUCATOR AWARD AT NATIONAL AIAA AWARDS GALA

AIAA NCS' highest award is the Barry Goldwater Educator Award, presented annually to an individual of national stature supporting the advancement of technology education. For years the award was presented locally to aerospace education advocates in many categories--industry, academia, government agencies, and Congress. Fortunately, good candidates abound locally (Senator Goldwater himself, Senator McCain, NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, Orbital Sciences CEO David Thompson, etc) For the past couple of years, AIAA Hqs has permitted the presentation of the award at the 400 participants of the AIAA National Awards Gala--a national level award administered by NCS--the only Section in the US who has earned that distinction. We are grateful for that privilege.  In 2008, NCS expanded its search for qualified Goldwater candidates nationwide for the first time. With this year's recipient, we found a well qualified nationally recognized candidate--Mordechai Levin, Executive Director of the Masterflight Foundation in Richmond IL. Mordechai is dedicated to education of young women and minorities for aerospace career opportunities. Among his accomplishments are sponsorship of week long aerospace education seminars for 30 minority students at a time. Other events include an outreach program across schools to over 9000 students. Mr Levin has won the Air Force Association's Brewer National Aerospace Education Award and was heartily endorsed by Air Force Association leader Lt Gen Michael Dunn, and received the Civil Air Patrol's equivalent education award. AIAA Executive Director Bob Dickman (and a Fellow and member of AIAA NCS) read CAPT Levin’s award citation and NCS Chairman Ed Yarbrough made the presentation.  CAPT Levin was a guest at the NCS banquet table. CAPT Levin’s insightful acceptance speech at the Gala was a good acceptance message and presented a challenge to us all assembled at the Gala to expand our outreach to minority and women students to greatly increase our current 6% national women/minority percentages for the aerospace profession--far short of national demographic trends.

The very nature of the Goldwater Award is focused on the all aspects of the award winners' efforts toward educational outreach at pre-college and/or college level. The Goldwater award promotes excellence and dedication to education in math/science/engineering as a part of the award winner's professional career through direct involvement with the students as in Mordechai Levin's case, or in sponsoring legislation or large events in the case of Congressmen, government officials, or industry leaders.

 

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