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Speakers Bureau Builds Relationships Between NASA and the Public

Center Director Dr. Woodrow Whitlow Jr. and senior leadership joined the Community and Media Relations Office (CMRO) in thanking 76 employees/retirees for their contributions to the NASA Glenn Speakers Bureau during a Recognition Breakfast on April 12.

Image of four Glenn Speakers Bureau members. Credit: NASA/S. Jenise Veris, SGTI Image right: Speakers who made 100 presentations or more over the past five years are, left to right, Bauman, Crell, Trsek and Palaszewski. Credit: NASA/S. Jenise Veris

Glenn's Speakers Bureau comprises engineers, scientists and other professionals who represent the center as speakers to civic, professional and educational organizations. Each year, speakers provide more than 700 presentations to over 60,000 people. The Speakers Bureau is a free service of Glenn as a part of the center's community outreach efforts.

During the recent recognition event, Dr. Whitlow restated the senior leadership's goal of making Glenn an integral part of the Ohio community and the nation. He stressed how the Speakers Bureau plays an important role in building better relationships and greater public awareness.

"Your service is of infinite value in gaining support for the agency and the center," said Whitlow. "The 60,000 folks you spoke to over the past year made a huge impact because NASA, through you, became real people and neighbors. And for that, I personally offer my thanks."

David DeFelice, on behalf of CMRO Chief Linda Dukes-Campbell, joined Speakers Bureau Coordinator Cheryl McCallum, BTAS/Community and Media Relations, in presenting bureau members in attendance a certificate of appreciation and a laser pointer/pen. Four members, who exceeded 100 presentations over the past five years, also received a gift certificate to the Exchange Store. They included Bill Crell, retiree (248); Bryan Palaszewski, Aeropropulsion Division (177); and Steve Bauman (121) and Erline Trsek (101), both from Structures and Materials Division.

McCallum said that Glenn's Speakers Bureau enjoys the largest active membership across the agency. In fact, NASA's Strategic Communications Office has held up Glenn as an example of "best practices" for innovative outreach methods on several occasions.

"Our bureau members are aggressive, knowledgeable and stellar speakers," McCallum said. "Because they enjoy and believe in what they do here at Glenn, they are ideal ambassadors for spreading the NASA story in a personal way. Their presentations are so successful that they continually generate new interest in the NASA mission. Requests for future speaking engagements just pour in," McCallum added.

The NASA Speakers Bureau Program was established to share how the space program affects the public. Speakers Bureau members educate the public and encourage them to take ownership of the agency through such topics as the Vision for Space Exploration, Mars Missions or Living in Space. Audiences include preschool to college classes, libraries and museums, scouts and professional and technical groups.

During the breakfast, DeFelice encouraged members to seek new audiences who are unfamiliar with how NASA's mission affects their lives. He also hopes to add new members from a diverse career base this year, including senior leadership.

"It's in our best interest to keep our most valuable customer, the public, informed and excited about what we do," DeFelice said. "We welcome senior leaders and their ideas in this effort. It's vital for the public to see employees of all different levels speaking in support of the agency."

For a complete list of Speakers Bureau members recognized at the Speakers Bureau Recognition Breakfast, see

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S. Jenise Veris