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Mississippi Space Grant Consortium

Funded by a NASA Training Grant

The Mississippi Space Grant Consortium (MSSGC) is a statewide non-profit organization of institutions of higher learning coordinated by the Mississippi Research Consortium and supported by NASA.


The Consortium's mission is to enhance and support aerospace science and technology efforts and activities in Mississippi as well as promote a strong science, mathematics, and technology base at precollege, undergraduate, and graduate levels in the regions educational institutions.


HISTORY

The National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program was founded in 1989 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to establish a network of universities with programs in aeronautics and other space-related fields, and to encourage recruitment and training of talented students, especially women and minorities, who will become professionals in the space sciences.


MSSGC was established in 1991 through an award by NASA to four Mississippi Universities: The University of Mississippi, Jackson State University, The University of Southern Mississippi, and Mississippi State University. Since its establishment, the MSSGC developed a plan to expand Space Grant activities to include all universities and community colleges in the state. In 1993, the MSSGC added eight new affiliate members, which include the four public regional universities and four of its fifteen community colleges: Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Mississippi University for Women, Mississippi Valley State University, Itawamba Community College, Pearl River Community College, Northeast Community College, and Coahoma Community College. In 1999, four new affiliates joined MSSGC: Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Hinds Community College-Utica Campus, Mississippi Delta Community College, and Meridian Community College.


WHAT WE DO

Space Grant affiliates sponsor a variety of information programs and conferences, summer instruction for teachers, and opportunities for fellowships and scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students in NASA-related, STEM fields. Each campus program is guided by a faculty campus coordinator and a team of faculty mentors. The Space Grant Programs are designed to match the needs of students with faculty strengths and departmental capabilities.


Program diversity and collaboration characterize the MSSGC. While each program's response to regional needs and opportunities creates an effectively diverse range of activities, MSSGC's strong network of communication and active collaboration propel this local success into a statewide system of sustained commitment to Space Grant goals for technological and human resource development. Of special importance to MSSGC members is the percentage of women and minorities who participate in Space Grant activities across all programs.


WHO WE ARE

A Program With IMPACT

What Does Space Grant Do for Students?

The mission of Space Grant in Mississippi is to (1) be a gateway to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers and activities for students and programs throughout all levels of education; (2) enhance aerospace and aerospace-related research opportunities at undergraduate and graduate levels; (3) inspire STEM students to pursue STEM careers; (4) empower the state’s general public and community leaders through contributions to scientific literacy; and (5) nurture innovation that is Mississippi centric and globally aware.

“Space Grant allowed me to develop professional skills and contacts that helped me get into graduate school, which in turn helped me obtain the job I have today and start my career at NASA.”

“The Space Grant allowed me to continue my studies without having to work two jobs. This allowed me to perform to my highest potential in classes.”

“Participation in the MS Space Grant lead to a career with the Naval Research Lab at Stennis Space Center.”

“The Mississippi Space Grant helped show me the importance of promoting STEM to young students. I remember the people who encouraged me to pursue a STEM career early in life, and it was very rewarding to help return the favor to the next generation of students. I really enjoyed helping out younger children and seeing the joy that STEM experiments brought them. It taught me better time management by requiring me to balance my graduate work while also preparing lessons to help out at a local school. I have also thought about becoming a professor later in my career, and this fellowship helped introduce me to teaching.”

“The MS Space Grant gave me experience outside of a classroom in a team setting that helped prepare me for employment. The MS Space Grant helped develop me professionally in ways that I do not believe possible solely in a classroom setting.”

OPPORTUNITIES

Research Initiation Seed Grants

The Mississippi Space Grant Consortium (MSSGC) is soliciting seed grant proposals in any STEM related field that has relevance to NASA. The research initiation grants are aimed at strengthening research competitiveness and collaboration and creating research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students..

CC Industry Interships

The MS Space Grant Community College Industry Intern Program provides ten-week internships for community college students at aerospace-related companies located in Mississippi and at Stennis Space Center (SSC).

Student interns will be competitively selected by the companies involved from the NASA/Mississippi Space Grant Consortium’s affiliate members. The interns will work at a partner facility under the direction of a mentor on a current project of interest to that partner. Interns are placed with aerospace-related companies located in Mississippi and at Stennis Space Center (SSC). The current industry partners include Lockheed, Raytheon, I2R Corp., ATK, and ERDC Vicksburg, and INFINITY Science Center.

This experience provides a four-fold benefit: to the students, giving them practical work experience in an aerospace-related field; to their Universities, providing the students’ home departments with an industrial evaluation of their students’ skills; to the Mississippi companies, providing them with access to potential full-time employees from within the State; and to the State, enhancing its economic base by strengthening its aerospace industry. Students return to their schools with expanded technical abilities and increased confidence in their abilities, as well as with a greater understanding of the communication and interpersonal skills required for success in today’s aerospace–related industries.

For more detail about the program, please contact Dr. Earnest Stephens at (662) 915-1187 or estephen@olemiss.edu.

The program dates are usually the end of May to the beginning of August - the internship can begin earlier if the company and intern agree on the start dates.

MSSGC will provide interns with an $8,500 stipend. Housing is not included as a part of the internship. Participants are responsible for securing their own lodging and transportation.

Community College students in NASA STEM related fields are encouraged to apply. MS Space Grant is particularly interested in encouraging underrepresented minority participation. Applicants must be U.S. citizen, pass a criminal background check, and have a 3.0 or better cumulative GPA.

MS Space Grant is currently accepting applications. Applications are DUE by Friday, 4/14/2017. Interested students should prepare an application package that includes a cover letterresume and a letter of recommendation. The cover letter should state what field the student is interested in working in (i.e. mathematics, education, electronics, aerospace, composites, etc.). Cover letters and letters of recommendation should be addressed to the MS Space Grant Director. Submit all application materials to the MS Space Grant office via email to estephen@olemiss.edu.