Natacha DePaola, Carol and Ed Kaplan Armour College Dean of Engineering, represented Armour College of Engineering and Illinois Institute of Technology at the first-ever NASA MissionSTEM Summit, held at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. from August 8-9, 2016. The summit was convened to bring together the many voices of NASA’s grantee stakeholders in order to take NASA’s civil rights technical assistance efforts to a new level.
NASA awards approximately $1.5 billion in federal financial assistance to nearly 700 recipients each year, mostly in the form of research and development grants. MissionSTEM is designed to assist programs and activities receiving NASA funding to meet their obligations under equal opportunity laws.
The major topics of the summit included increasing diversity in the NASA/STEM workforce of the future, making STEM academic environments more inclusive, advancing diversity through civil rights compliance, and achieving greater access to NASA grants and contracts.
In this role, DePaola was able to help shape MissionSTEM policies and programs to ensure STEM education and job opportunities are inclusive and diverse.