NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Honors Employees at Annual Awards Ceremony


A select group of civil service and contractor employees at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., has been honored for exceptional achievements and contributions to America's space program.

Lynn Cline, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of Space Flight in Washington, D.C., joined Marshall Center Director David King at Marshall's annual NASA Honor Awards ceremony to salute some 300 employees for special accomplishments during 2002.

Among those honored at the event were three individuals who had previously received top-level awards at a NASA Headquarters ceremony. Marshall Center Associate Director Axel Roth was presented with NASA's Distinguished Service Medal. The award, recognizing distinguished personal service, ability or courage that has substantially contributed to NASA's mission, is the highest honor NASA can bestow on a civil servant.

At the same ceremony, Roger J. Bressenden of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Hugh (Hamp) Wilson of Hamp Wilson Consulting were given NASA's Distinguished Public Service Medal. The award is NASA's highest honor for a non-government individual whose accomplishments contributed substantially to the NASA mission.

Among the awards presented were five NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals, given for notably outstanding leadership that has had a pronounced effect on NASA's technical or administrative programs. Recipients were William B. Waits, manager (retired) of the Protective Services Department; Steven D. Pearson, manager of the Engineering Technology Development Department; Ann F. Whitaker, director of the Science Directorate; Michael U. Rudolphi, former project manager of the reusable solid rocket motor and current Acting Director of Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Miss.; and Christopher E. Singer, Deputy Director of the Space Transportation Directorate.

Also presented at the Honor Awards ceremony were 20 Exceptional Service Medals; 15 Exceptional Achievement Medals; four Public Service Medals; 40 NASA Certificates of Appreciation; 18 NASA Group Achievement Awards; seven NASA Public Service Group Achievement Awards; 42 Marshall Director's Commendation Certificates; 40 Marshall Certificates of Appreciation; and 25 Marshall Group Achievement Awards.

NASA's Exceptional Service Medal, given to recognize significant, sustained performance characterized by unusual initiative or creativity, was presented to the following Marshall employees: Terry M. Luttrell, Center Operations Directorate; Jim R. Pruitt, Customer and Employee Relations Directorate; Thomas C. Bryan, Steven J. Gentz, David L. McGaha and Charles H. Shivers, Engineering Directorate; Michael W. Kearney, III, and Rodney B. Key, Flight Projects Directorate; James M. McGroary, Office of Chief Counsel; Rosa N. Caudle, Office of Chief Financial Officer; Emil L. Posey, Procurement Office; Thomas W. Hartline, Safety & Mission Assurance Office; Sandor L. Lehoczky and Jack C. Reily, Jr., Science Directorate; John M. Moorhead, Space Shuttle Projects Office; Rosemary S. Finley, Dallias S. Pearson, Dennis E. Strickland and Thomas F. Zoladz, Space Transportation Directorate; and Gerald F. Flanagan, Systems Management Office.

The Exceptional Achievement Medal recognizes significant, specific contributions to NASA's mission. This year's recipients were Richard A. Helmick and Owen H. Johnson, Center Operations Directorate; Danny Garcia, Bruce W. McCoy, Lisa A. Roth and Michael L. Tinker, Engineering Directorate; Steven McClard, Flight Projects Directorate; Ona B. Elliott, Office of Chief Financial Officer; Sandra L. Presnell, Procurement Office; Alan C. Clark, Safety and Mission Assurance Office; Jerry R. Cook, Mark F. Fisher and Jim R. Snoddy, Jr., Second Generation RLV Program Office; and Uwe Hueter and Don R. Krupp, Jr., Space Transportation Directorate.

Marshall's Software of the Year Award was presented to John Roger Moody, the team lead for the authors of WinPlot, a powerful desktop graphical analysis program that allows the user to conduct detailed analysis of large amounts of test and flight data.

Marshall's Inventor of the Year Award acknowledges employees with patented inventions that have realized commercial potential or contributed significantly to specific NASA programs. Dr. David Hathaway and Paul Meyer were honored for their invention called VISAR, a video stabilization software program that helps "clean up" poor quality video to reveal features that can't otherwise be seen. VISAR's capabilities have made it a valuable tool for, among other things, investigation of crimes by law enforcement agencies.

Marshall's Technology Transfer Award recognizes excellence in applying NASA technology to commercial uses. Recipients were Robert W. Carter, Robert Jeffrey Ding and David A. Gwaltney of the Engineering Directorate and John Rakoczy of the Science Directorate.

Marshall Center's Research and Technology Award recognizes notable achievements in current technology development. Those receiving the award were Douglas B. Bearden, Dennis J. Boccippio, Richard E. Boothe, Andrew M. Brown, Mark J. Christl, Mark Covan, Steven W. Evans, Hansel D. Gill, Richard N. Grugel, David Gwaltney, Donna M. Hardage, Brent Hipp, Anthony B. Hulcher, Val Korman, Alok Majumdar, James J. Martin, Mike O'Farrell, Danny Osborne, Kevin Pedersen, Tom Rieckhoff, Franklin R. Robertson, Edward Snell, Robert M. Suggs, Frank Thomas, Luis C. Trevino, Martin P. Volz and John Wiley.

Nineteen employees received the Marshall Patent Award recognizing NASA employees winning patents in 2002. Honorees were Melvin A. Bryant Sr., Jonathan A. Campbell, Robert Carrigan (deceased), Robert Jeffrey Ding, Timothy E. Dowling, Richard N. Grugel, David H. Hathaway, Richard Holmes, Jonathan A. Lee, Jeffrey L. Lindner, Michael A. Martin, Paul J. Meyer, W. Neill Myers, George R. Schmidt, Harry F. Schramm, William Herbert Sims Sr., Stanley Smeltzer Sr., Eric S. Taylor and William Witherow.

The Marshall Center, one of NASA's largest field centers, is carrying out its vision of being the world leader in space transportation systems, microgravity research and space optics manufacturing technology. In its space transportation role, Marshall is helping to further humankind's exploration of space while slashing the cost of getting there -- from today's $10,000 per pound to hundreds of dollars a pound or less.

With a rich history spanning more than four decades, Marshall occupies over 1,800 acres and employs more than 2,700 civil servants. More than 23,000 contractor personnel are engaged in work for the Center, which has an annual budget of more than $2.3 billion.

After its creation in 1960, Marshall's first major program was development of the huge Saturn rockets, the largest of which carried humans to the Moon in 1969. Other key successes in Marshall history include the Lunar Roving Vehicle, three high-energy astronomy observatories, Spacelab, Skylab, the Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the propulsion systems that power the Space Shuttle.

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