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10-08-2015

The Aerospace Corporation President & CEO Wanda Austin Will Speak on Rethinking STEM Education in America, Oct. 22 at Clarkson University

The New Horizons in Engineering Distinguished Lectureship Series at Clarkson University is proud to announce that Wanda M. Austin, president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation, will speak on rethinking STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education in America.

Her presentation will take place on Thursday, October 22, at 2:30 p.m. in Clarkson's Student Center Multipurpose Rooms (#15 on the map at http://www.clarkson.edu/about/clarkson_map.pdf). A reception will precede the lecture at 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Wanda M. Austin"The work of STEM professionals has led to some of the greatest achievements in human history, yet the general public is far too often unaware of their accomplishments," says Austin in her lecture's abstract. "This is an issue of marketing -- not an issue of content. The way we present STEM in America needs to change. It needs to be more inclusive, engaging, and relevant. The space industry has a large role to play in shaping the public perception of STEM, as do teachers, students, artists, and filmmakers alike. Everyone can, and must, contribute."

Austin is committed to inspiring the next generation to study the STEM disciplines and to make science and engineering preferred career choices. Under her guidance, The Aerospace Corporation has taken a number of initiatives in support of STEM, including participation in MATHCOUNTS, US FIRST Robotics, and Change the Equation.

Austin was named president and chief executive officer of The Aerospace Corporation, a leading architect for the nation’s national security space programs, in 2008. She is internationally recognized for her work on satellite and payload system acquisition, systems engineering, and system simulation. She also serves on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the Defense Science Board, and NASA’s Advisory Council.

She is an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), a counselor of the National Academy of Engineering and a member of the International Academy of Astronautics and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She also serves on the board of directors of Space Foundation, and on the board of trustees of the University of Southern California and of the National Geographic Society.

Austin has received many awards and citations, including the National Intelligence Medallion for Meritorious Service, the Air Force Scroll of Achievement, and the National Reconnaissance Office Gold Medal. She is also a recipient of AIAA’s von Braun Award for Excellence in Space Program Management, the Horatio Alger Award, the NDIA Peter B. Teets Industry Award, the USC Viterbi Distinguished Alumni Award and an honorary doctor of science degree from Clarkson.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Franklin & Marshall College, master's degrees in systems engineering and mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh, and a doctorate in systems engineering from the University of Southern California.

Austin will be the 12th Distinguished Lecturer in Clarkson University's New Horizons in Engineering series, which is dedicated to improving the understanding of important issues facing engineering and society in the 21st century.

Read more about the New Horizons in Engineering Distinguished Lectureship Series at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/2010/news-release_2010-08-20-3.html .

For more information, please contact Distinguished Research Professor of Engineering Liya Regel, New Horizons in Engineering founder and chair, at lregel@clarkson.edu .

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/wanda-austin.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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