Salisbury State chosen for joint NASA program

June 04, 1993|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,Staff Writer

Salisbury State University has become the first college in Maryland named to participate in a joint study program with the National Aeronautical and Space Administration, officials announced yesterday.

The university is expected to receive a $110,000 grant over three years from NASA's Joint Venture Institutions program. The grant will be used for faculty fellowships, undergraduate scholarships and outreach programs for high school students, according to Phillip Creighton, dean of the Henson School of Science and Technology at Salisbury State.

The grant, however, depends on the performance of the university's participating faculty members, who are required to report on their findings and work during the summer on NASA projects. The agency will decide whether to award the grant to the university after reviewing the faculty members' work, said Maury Estes, Joint Venture Institutions program manager with NASA.

Salisbury State has about 6,000 students and 240 faculty members.

It is one of 21 schools named this year in an expansion of NASA's Joint Venture program. Previously, 53 institutions participated.

The 21 were chosen from a field of 197 institutions, including eight from Maryland, Mr. Estes said.

Salisbury State was picked partly because of its decision to offer three faculty members instead of one, he said. "All three faculty members were able to be identified with current NASA workers through their mutual interests," Mr. Estes noted.

The three faculty members are Dr. Steven Hetzler, Dr. Andrew Pica, and John Tyvoll. Dr. Hetzler, who is using a mathematical model to study the effects of solar wind on the earth's atmosphere, and Dr. Pica, who is working with ultraviolet imaging telescopes, are stationed at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt. Mr. Tyvoll is posted at Wallops Island, Va., observing the effects of upper atmospheric ozone.

Mr. Estes said that the withdrawal of a grant "is very rare" and that only two schools in the five-year history of the program had lost funding because of poor performance.

"With Salisbury, very good potential exists, and it's very likely they'll progress into the next level," he said.

The three-year grant will enable the school to purchase new equipment, to award $20,000 in undergraduate scholarships, and to develop outreach programs in high schools.

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