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Transparent Spacer Pixle The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) is a coalition of five Virginia colleges and universities, NASA, state educational agencies, Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology, and other institutions representing diverse aerospace education and research.

The VSGC acts as an umbrella organization, coordinating and developing aerospace-related and high technology educational and research efforts throughout the Commonwealth and connecting Virginia's effort to a national community of shared aerospace interests.

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VSGC | News Virginia Space Grant News

News and Announcements

New Investigator Program

Five faculty members from VSGC-member universities have received the New Investigator Program award of $10,000 each for the 2016-2017 cycle. The New Investigator Program award is designed to strengthen Virginia's research infrastructure and to provide start-up funding for new faculty members who have yet to become established researchers. Geared to faculty who are conducting research directly aligned with NASA's mission, the program targets those who are in the first five years of their academic career. Faculty who submit a proposal must be qualified to serve as the principal investigator at their respective institutions. Proposals are reviewed by a panel of VSGC member university representatives and NASA experts.

Since 2009, a total of $330,000 has been awarded to 33 faculty members!

Faculty members for 2016-2017

James T. Burns
University of Virginia
Department of Materials Science & Engineering
Correlating FIB/TEM and HR-EBSD Representations of the Plasticity Condition in the Near-Crack Tip Region of Structural Materials

Jermiah Still
Old Dominion University
Exploring the Influence of Saliency on Visual Search Within Tablet Interfaces

Balsa Terzic
Old Dominion University
Feasibility Study of Remote Sensing by "Compton Sources"

Shane Davis
University of Virginia
Modeling Emission Spectra from Radiation Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations of Black Hole Accretion

Cody H. Fleming
University of Virginia
Systems & Information Engineering
Towards a Methodology for Safety-Driven Analysis and Integration of Hetrogeneous, Autonomous Decision-Makers in the National Airspace

STEM Takes Flight Press Release

STEM Takes Flight is offering new NASA research experiences for community college students!

Check out the PRESS RELEASE for more details!


The Virginia Space Grant Consortium's Building Leaders for Advancing Science and Technology (BLAST) program received the 2016 Programs That Work award from the Virginia Mathematics & Science Coalition (VMSC). Governor Terry McAuliffe presented the award on January 19 during a reception held at the Library of Virginia in Richmond. This prestigious award recognizes exemplary science and integrated science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs evidencing a positive impact on student or teacher learning. The BLAST award was one of twelve presented by the Governor on behalf of the VMSC.

Governor Terry McAuliffe presents the Programs That Work award to Virginia Space Grant Consortium BLAST staff and partners. (L-R): Chris Carter, VSGC Deputy Director, Larry Richards, UVA Engineering Faculty, Brenda Neil, VSGC staff, Governor Terry McAuliffe, Mary Jo Leber, VSGC staff, Ed Murphy, UVA Astronomy Faculty and Kim Lester, VT Center for Enhancement of Engineering Diversity.

STEM Takes Flight

The 2016 STEM Takes Flight Build/Fly/Learn and Individual Student Research Experience Programs application is now available. The deadline is January 30, 2016. Twenty of Virginia's brightest community college students pursuing STEM disciplines will be invited as guest researchers of NASA Langley Research Center and NASA Wallops Flight Facility. They will work alongside NASA researchers on projects in support of the NASA Mission.

STEM Takes Flight with Virginia's Community Colleges WEBSITE


Internship Paves Solid Career Path for Jayla Seward

At the Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program (CSIIP), we were fortunate to have Jayla Seward serve her 2015 summer CSIIP internship at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC), located in South Boston, VA. Not only was she able to gain valuable skills and experience, but she also served as a role model for potential internship candidates.

As a student at Southern Virginia Community College (SVCC), Jayla was one of five CSIIP interns participating through the STEM Takes Flight (STF) program, which was launched in June 2015. Funded by National Space Grant Foundation, STF provides Virginia community college students career-enriching opportunities typically available to undergrads at four-year institutions.

At SVHEC, Jayla was able to tap her studies at SVCC, and apply them to new technologies in robotics and AutoCad Electrical, as well as cutting-edge manufacturing. Jayla is now a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University and based on her CSIIP internship experience, she determined that she definitely wants to major in electrical engineering.

She valued the opportunity so much that she submitted an unsolicited testimonial, praising the experience and its impact on her future career path. She wrote, "Every expectation that I had when starting this internship had been [exceeded]. As I prepare to attend Virginia Commonwealth University... I leave concretely declaring electrical engineering as my major... One day I want to say that I am a graduate of VCU in the field of electrical engineering and this internship set me in the right path. Thanks to everyone involved and I will keep in touch." - Jayla Seward

Scholarships and Fellowships

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) is pleased to announce the 2016 -2017 Scholarship and Fellowship Program.

The Undergraduate STEM Research Scholarship Program provides a one-year scholarship of up to $8,500 to support undergraduate students actively engaged in faculty-mentored research of interest to NASA.

The Graduate STEM Research Fellowship Program provides $6,000 in support to graduate students actively engaged in a faculty-mentored research project of interest to NASA. The Fellowship is renewable for one year.

Building Leaders for Advancing Science and Technology (BLAST) Program

Photo: BLAST students at Virginia Tech designed, built and tested an earthquake resistant structure.

Some 240 Virginia high school students had a BLAST (Building Leaders for Advancing Science and Technology) at Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia this summer. Rising 9th and 10th grade students experienced innovative, hands-on science, technology, engineering and math activities, demonstrations and tours designed to motivate and inspire them for STEM studies and careers. Students engaged in problem-solving, team-based activities designed to solve engineering and scientific challenges under the guidance of university faculty. BLAST is free of charge to students who are selected to participate. For information, visit

Check out our FLICKR page to see photos from this summer's academies.

We also have videos documenting the VASTS and Space Coast weeks.

Virginia Space Grant Consortium Summer Academies

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium's summer academies have wrapped up for the summer! The summer kicked off with three weeks of Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) on June 20th and ended with two weeks of Virginia Space Coast Scholars (VSCS) on August 14th. It's been a busy summer but the on students has been immeasurable.

Check out our FLICKR page to see photos from this summer's academies.

We also have videos documenting the VASTS and Space Coast weeks.

VSGC Announces New Initiative for Virginia Community Colleges

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) has launched STEM Takes Flight at Virginia's Community Colleges, which provides a suite of programs for community college students pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) majors (exclusive of allied health and business) and faculty in STEM disciplines statewide. STEM Takes Flight opportunities include $5,000 mentored scholarships, NASA paid onsite research experiences, paid industry internships, new courses, and a NASA residential faculty professional development workshop. Funded through NASA, the $500,000 grant provides funding for a two-year award period, and seeks to foster enhanced community college retention in STEM academic tracks through graduation or transfer to a four-year institution.

VSGC launched the STEM Takes Flight initiative in partnership with the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), NASA Langley Research Center and NASA Wallops Flight Facility, and with the strong support of the Virginia Governor's office. The initiative directly embrace VCCS goals of increasing access to affordable education and training in preparation for workforce success and tripling the number of students graduating with associate degrees, transferring to a four-year institution and/or receiving a workforce credential.

For detailed program information and applications visit,