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Proud Donor - December 2016

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Dr. Carl Person (Class of 1976)

Director of Aerospace Research and Career Development, NASA (ret.)   

Carl Person

"I have been guided throughout my career by the phrase "Opportunity and Access."  As such, I have worked to ensure that African American students, other students of color, and women have been provided equal opportunities and access to Federal programs.

There are two primary reasons that I give back. First, everything that I have accomplished professionally has been a direct result of my education at FSU. Secondly, my deceased wife was also an FSU alumna who dedicated her professional life to teaching and leadership in elementary education at public schools. Accordingly, my daughter and I created the Mary A. Person Endowed Scholarship at FSU for citizens of NC whose goals are to be elementary teachers."

In his 14-year career at NASA, Person's final role was as the Director of Aerospace Research and Career Development in NASA's Office of Education. He was responsible for working with a national network of colleges and universities to expand opportunities for Americans to understand and participate in NASA's aeronautics and space projects by supporting and enhancing science and engineering education, research and public outreach efforts.  Additionally, he was responsible for working with the colleges and universities within 28 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to effect lasting improvements in a state's or region's research infrastructure, R&D capacity and hence, its national R&D competitiveness.  Person also served as NASA's liaison to NSF's Committee on Equal Opportunity in Science and Engineering (CEOSE).

In his prior role as Manager of the Minority University Research and Education Program, Person was responsible for helping to ensure the participation of underrepresented and underserved populations in NASA's programs, projects and activities.  Person also served as the agency's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Program manager and liaison to the White House Initiative Offices on HBCUs, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. Before joining NASA, Person provided 20 years of distinguished service to the U.S. Department of Education in a variety of positions ranging from an education program specialist to chief of the Accrediting Agency Evaluation branch and chief of the Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities branch.  However, his most challenging and rewarding positions were held simultaneously the two years before joining NASA.  Person served in a dual capacity as Director of the Institutional Development and Undergraduate Education Service, and as Executive Director of the HBCU Capital Financing Program.

As the Education Service Director, his office had responsibility for administering 15 higher education programs (including Title III) with more than a billion-dollar budget. Person currently is the Vice Chair of NASA's Ad Hoc Task Force on STEM Education; a Public Member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education; a Public Commissioner on the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training; and a Lay Person on the Virginia State Bar's Fifth District Committee on Legal Discipline.  Person also serves as a deacon at Great Salvation Christian Fellowship church.  Finally, he is employed part-time at Fayetteville State University in a contractual capacity as an Undergraduate Research Preceptor.

Person earned a baccalaureate degree in political science from Fayetteville State University, a master's degree in education administration from Howard University and a doctoral degree in higher education administration from Virginia Tech.

The Mary A. Person '76 Endowed Scholarship is awarded to North Carolina residents majoring in Education."




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