Manager, Higher Education
Dr. Mabel Jones Matthews
As Manager for Higher Education, Dr. Mabel Jones Matthews shares responsibility for providing strategic leadership that delivers NASA's contribution to our nation's efforts in achieving excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education. The Higher Education program, projects and activities align to support NASA Education Outcome 1: contribute to the development of the STEM workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA’s strategic goals, and Outcome 2: attract and retain students in STEM disciplines through a progression of educational opportunities for students, teachers and faculty.
From June 1999 to March 2006, Matthews served as University Program Manager for NASA's Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP. MUREP is responsible for ensuring NASA's responsiveness to federal mandates related to Historically Black College and Universities and Other Minority Universities, including Hispanic-Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges and Universities. MUREP's overall aim is to increase the capacity of minority-serving institutions to respond to NASA's overall research and development mission.
Before arriving at NASA, Matthews served in several senior-level higher education positions, including vice president, dean of academic affairs, academic division chairperson and as an associate professor. Her tenure afforded her the opportunity to provide vision and innovative approaches to delivering academic systems and student development models, including leading international curriculum development and strategic enrollment management initiatives in Warwick, England; Nassau, Bahamas; and Dakar, Senegal.
Her tenure at NASA has afforded Matthews the opportunity to direct the NASA Administrator's Fellowship Project, Harriett G. Jenkins Pre-doctoral Fellowship Project, Partnership Award for Integrating STEM Research into the Undergraduate Curriculum, and Curriculum Improvement Partnership Award. These national projects focus on increasing the participation of under-represented students in the STEM workforce. Matthews represents NASA on the International Astronautical Federation, Space Education and Outreach Committee composed of representatives from Japanese, Canadian and European space agencies. Matthews is also a board member of the Ionia Whipper Home.
Matthews earned her B.S. degree in business administration from Southeastern University and the M.B.A. degree in marketing from Atlanta University. She completed doctoral studies in higher education administration at the University of Cincinnati. One of the highlights of her professional career was being awarded in 2005 the honor of Distinguished Alumni by the College of Education, University of Cincinnati.
Matthews has a wealth of experience in the areas of workforce development, academic policy and higher education marketing research. She has served in key academic positions in majority and minority higher education environments. Matthews is a veteran collaborator, with an extensive background in program development with government and private industry.