Thousands of talented, dedicated and passionate people work at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. They are rocket scientists and engineers. They are researchers and physicists and chemists. They are aviation specialists, public affairs officers, administrative assistants, security officers, logistics managers and more. With countless specializations in myriad fields, the people of Glenn share one goal: working for the public in support of NASA's mission.
The diverse Glenn workforce is comprised of civil servants and on-site support contractors. Workers perform a large variety of different jobs at NASA Glenn. "My Job at NASA Glenn" is a series that introduces some of these workers. Learn about different employees and the interesting jobs they perform, and how their education prepared them to make unique and important contributions to NASA.
Nikki D. Brown
Nikki D. Brown
Image Credit: NASA Job Title:
Program Specialist in the Space Technology and Research Grants (STRG) Office at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC)
What that means:
I support an agency program that seeks to invest in high-risk/ high-payoff ideas. Through grants, cooperative agreements and student fellowships, STRG invests in technology research and development that will lead to new developments in science and space exploration capabilities, as well as provide the U.S. with a pipeline of highly skilled scientists, engineers and technologists.
What I do:
I perform management support tasks for the program, its fellows (students), grant awardees, NASA mentors and also advocate for the program's objectives.
The coolest /most interesting part of my job is:
I love STRG programs because they contribute to building our country's technological competiveness by investing in students. Supporting students with NASA resources, mentors and facilities, advocating for technology programming that supports the economic and technological foundation of our country; doesn't get any better than that for me!
My favorite project that I have worked, or that I am working on, is:
I am currently supporting the NASA Space Technology and Research Fellowships (NSTRF) program. This is an awesome program because it provides research grants to graduate students pursuing advanced degrees in STEM fields. These students show significant potential to contribute to NASA's strategic goals and mission and represent the technological leaders of the future.
The accomplishment that I am most proud of is:
I am proud of being the lead of a diversity advisory group at NASA. Through this group I have the opportunity to collaborate on community service projects, mentor students and my peers, plan diversity programming to serve the NASA GRC community and educate people about the importance of diversity in the workplace. I love helping people and serving; this group allows me to do all of that and more!
A Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education helped me by:
Creating possibilities in my life to pursue the things I only dreamed about as a little girl. When you choose to pursue higher education you open yourself up to numerous possibilities. Getting an education gives you options in life to take big dreams and make them your reality.
Good advice for students, including STEM students, is:
One thing my dad always told me when I was a little girl was "never give up and always try." Just because something is difficult or unprecedented doesn't mean you can't do it! Don't be afraid to be different and to be a trailblazer.
How do you "dream big?"
I always seek ways to improve myself and look for opportunities to help others.
Who inspired you to "dream big" and how or what did they do that inspired you?
My dad; he is my hero! He always encouraged and supported me in every endeavor. He has faced many challenges in his life but he never gave up. There isn't a problem I've ever seen stump him!
What do you do to inspire others to "dream big?"
Mentoring. It's one of the most important ways you can help the next generation.