Foundation Board of Directors and Officers
The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors that are elected from among the Directors of the state based Space Grant program. Each director serves a three year term. The Foundation's Chief Executive Officer, the Chair of the National Council of Space Grant Directors, and the Chair of the National Space Grant Alliance serve as Ex Officio officers on the board.
Dr. Andy Arena, Director
Oklahoma Space Grant
Term ends: December 31, 2022
Andy Arena holds the TJ Cunningham Chair in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Oklahoma State University, and is the Director of the NASA Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium and NASA EPSCoR. His 27 years of experience in teaching and research have been focused in the areas of aeronautics and aircraft design.
Dr. Kevin Crosby, Treasurer
Wisconsin Space Grant
Term ends: December 31, 2024
Dr. Kevin M. Crosby teaches in the Physics and Astronomy Department and Computer Science Department at Carthage, and has chaired both departments. Dr. Crosby served as Division Chair for the Division of Natural Sciences for 10 years and as Dean of the Division of Natural and Social Sciences for one year. Crosby currently directs the NASA Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium.
He has taught broadly across the physics curriculum, including courses in planetary astronomy and global climate science. He is currently involved in a variety of undergraduate space science research initiatives, including suborbital payload experiments, parabolic flight experiments, and CubeSat projects.
Kevin D. Freese, Chief Executive Officer
National Space Grant Foundation
Mr. Kevin D. Freese has an extensive STEM and space related background, especially his leadership experience as a veteran USAF Officer with 12 years of active duty military service where he led the research development, test, manufacturing and deployment of tens of billions of dollars of many high profile aeronautical and aerospace vehicles and air breathing and rocket propulsion systems. Currently, Mr. Freese is Chairman of the Board of Cleveland, Ohio based technology, supply chain and e-commerce company, GroovyCandies.com, North America’s favorite on-line Candy & Fun Super Store since 1999. Mr. Freese served as Chairman of the Board of the Ohio Northern University TJ Smull College of Engineering for four years and co-chaired the successful capital campaign to build the new engineering college building for Ohio Northern University, scheduled to open in Fall 2019. Mr Freese is a Trustee of Lake Health Foundation in North East Ohio, where he has served for nearly 20 years.
Dr. Shawna McBride, Chair
Wyoming Space Grant
Term ends: December 31, 2023
Dr. Shawna McBride has a background in neuroscience and physiology and is the Director of the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium and Wyoming NASA EPSCoR program. Shawna is a research scientist and faculty member in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Wyoming, and has served as a Principal Investigator on numerous NASA and NSF grants. In graduate school, Shawna became very involved in teaching and science outreach and engagement. As Director of the NASA STEM engagement programs in Wyoming, she has been able to continue those pursuits by providing opportunities for students, teachers, and faculty members to engage in STEM. Shawna has also been an advocate for providing opportunities for women and underrepresented students in STEM throughout her career, helping to create programs such as WiMSE and OwnIt! at the University of Wyoming, which provide professional development opportunities for women and highlight women’s achievements in STEM. As STEM careers become more prevalent and important in our world, inspiring young people and promoting diversity in STEM fields is not just a passion, but a necessity. Through her work with NASA, Shawna is able to promote STEM education, research, and outreach from elementary through university levels by providing NASA-related opportunities in Wyoming and by developing partnerships across the state and across the country.
Dr. Gerardo Morell, Director
Puerto Rico Space Grant
Term ends: December 31, 2024
Gerardo Morell is the Director of the NASA/Puerto Rick Space Grant Consortium and is a full professor of Physics and Chemical Physics at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), Rio Piedras Campus. Morell’s research interests focus on the Biomedical Applications of Nanomaterials. The research group develops methods to synthesize novel multifunctional nanocomposites based on semiconductor nanomaterials and graphene quantum dots. These nanocomposites are further developed into new drug-delivery vectors, bio-photosensitizers, and bio-imaging probes. Morell has published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and three invention patents were awarded to him and his co-authors by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Morell continuously mentors undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows, as part of his research duties. He has sponsored eight postdoctoral scholars, and supervised nine doctoral theses and five master’s theses to completion.
Dr. Jaydeep Mukherjee, Director
Florida Space Grant
Term ends: December 31, 2022
Dr. Jaydeep Mukherjee is the Director of the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium, association of seventeen public and private Florida Universities and colleges led by the University of Central Florida and administered by the Florida Space Institute. The Consortium also includes all of Florida’s community colleges, as well as the Astronaut Memorial Foundation, Space Florida, Kennedy Space Center, and Orlando Science Center. FSGC supports the expansion and diversification of Florida’s space industry, through providing grants, scholarships, and fellowships to students and educators from Florida’s public and private institutes of higher education.
Dr. Timothy Urban, Director
Texas Space Grant
Term ends: December 31, 2023
Dr. Timothy Urban earned his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin where he was a Texas Space Grant Fellowship recipient. His areas of expertise are satellite geodesy, remote sensing, orbital mechanics, and mission planning and he has worked with several satellite altimetry missions and science teams including ERS-1, ERS-2, TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1, Jason-2, ICESat and ICESat-2. From 2005-2011 he co-managed the ICESat calibration and validation site at White Sands, NM for the UT Center for Space Research where he is a Research Associate. He received BS and MS degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he worked on the inaugural Illinois Space Grant Consortium aerospace institute summer camp. He received the Elbert K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award in 2019.
Ex Officio Officers
Dr. Scott Tarry, Chair of the National Council of Space Grant Directors
Scott E. Tarry is the Director of the NASA Nebraska Space Grant Consortium and the NASA Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). He is also the Associate Dean of the College of Public Affairs and Community Service at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Before joining the Dean's Office, he served as Director of the UNO Aviation Institute and Distinguished Professor of Aviation. He also served as President of the UNO Faculty Senate (2007-08). He was a Faculty Fellow at NASA Langley Research Center. Dr. Tarry was appointed to the Nebraska Aeronautics Commission in 2020 and currently serves as Chair of the Commission. He has also served as President of the Transportation Research Forum and as a Trustee of the Aviation Accreditation Board International. Tarry earned his BA in Politics and Government from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington and his MA and PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He also attended Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada and was a member of Class 36 of Leadership Omaha and Class 7 of Non-Profit Leadership Institute.
Dr. Dale Thomas, Chair of the National Space Grant Alliance
Dr. Dale Thomas, professor of industrial & systems engineering, is an Eminent Scholar in Systems Engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Dr. Thomas brings 32 years of NASA experience to his current work. He worked as an aerospace systems engineer on projects based at NASA/Marshal Space Flight Center in Huntsville and NASA/Johnson Space Center in Houston, including the Space Station Freedom Project, the International Space Station Program, the NASA Space Launch Initiative, and the Constellation Program. In 2011 he was appointed MSFC's Associate Center Director, a role he maintained until his 2015 retirement from NASA. He serves as the Director of Alabama NASA EPSCoR (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) Program.
Dr. Thomas has authored numerous technical papers and chapters in two textbooks, and served as an editor for the systems engineering textbook Applied Systems Engineering. He travels nationwide presenting elements of his research on models based systems engineering. Alongside other colleagues in UAH College of Engineering, Dr. Thomas served as a conference co-chair of the 14th Conference on Systems Engineering Research hosted by UAH in March 2016.