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D.H. Atkinson (Division of Human Resources and Education, NASA Headquarters), E.B. Ward (NASA Langley Research Center), D. Detroye (Divison of Human Resources and Education, NASA Headquarters)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1989, the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program (also known as Space Grant) contributes to the nation's science enterprise by funding research, education, and public service projects through a national network of 52 university-based Space Grant consortia. These consortia administer programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. In 1998, the consortia's 703 affiliates include 493 academic institutions and 62 businesses. Other partners include state and local government agencies, other federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Space Grant celebrates its tenth year of service in 1999. Since its inception, Space Grant has awarded over 12,000 U.S. citizens with tuition assistance in science, engineering, and related fields of study. Approximately twenty percent of these awards were to students from underrepresented groups and approximately thirty-five percent were to women. The majority of Space Grant student awards include a mentored research experience with university faculty or NASA scientists. Space Grant funds curriculum enhancement and faculty development as well. Space Grant colleges and universities also administer precollege and public service education programs that help to meet the education needs of their states. The Space Grant consortia have leveraged federal funds to more than double the Space Grant budget with matching contributions from state and local sources. Space Grant encourages collaboration among departments, across institutions, and with business and industry. All Space Grant programs emphasize the diversity of human resources, the participation of students in research, and the communication of the benefits of science and technology to the general public.