Goddard Women Recognized At International Forum
Nona Cheeks, Chief of the Technology Commercialization Office here and Donya Douglas, Goddard aerospace engineer have been recognized by the National Women of Color (WOC) Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) as 2008 WOC All-Stars and Rising Stars of Technology. They were honored during the 13th annual WOC meeting, October 23-25 in Dallas Texas.

Photo of Nona Cheeks Photo of Nona Cheeks. Credit: NASA This major international forum celebrates the achievements of women of color, while creating an environment for professional networking and opportunities for role models to develop professional mentoring relationships. “Minority women are playing an increasingly responsible role in shaping our technology today,” says Career Communications Group Inc. chairman Tyrone D. Taborn. “This conference is designed to provide long-overdue recognition of some of America’s most distinguished women in technology and business, who just happen to be women of color.”

For Goddard Cheeks leads the technology commercialization effort with a primary focus of industry outreach for the utilization of NASA developed technology for spin-off applications. She has been responsible for the development of marketing strategies that include technology assessments and technology briefings with industry.

“I never work for awards but I do appreciate receiving them,” Cheeks says. “It signifies that my work is providing a path for others to succeed. I am truly thankful to be recognized for my accomplishments and to be considered a role model for those yet to follow.”

Under Cheeks’ direction, materials such as technology portfolios that reflect NASA's Goddard technology developments and capabilities, technology transfer, and success stories are researched, developed, and distributed. She also initiates and facilitates unique commercial marketing activities to demonstrate Goddard's technologies to potential industry partners.

Photo of Donya Douglas Photo of Donya Douglas. Credit: NASA Douglas’ areas of expertise include research and development of two-phase thermal control devices for spacecraft such as Capillary Pumped Loops (CPLs) and Loop Heat Pipes (LHPs), state-of-the-art research into variable emittance coatings, spacecraft and instrument thermal design and control, and instrument systems engineering.

“During my school age years I dreamed of becoming a NASA engineer but never imagine I’d be here,” says Douglas. “I truly appreciate Goddard and all who have helped me get here. Their mentoring and leadership early in my career has been instrumental in my successes.”

She is currently the Associate Branch Head for Systems Engineering for Instrument Systems Branch. Douglas also serves as the Instrument Systems engineer for the Space Technology 8 Project Thermal Loop Technology, a project designed to fly four new technologies into space. In this capacity, she has led the concept development, design, integration and testing of an advanced thermal management system for spacecraft.

“Our honorees have made significant contributions to the work at Goddard while serving as a role model dedicated to the advancement of women in aerospace,’ says Rob Strain, Center Director. “Both are fine representation of the caliber of people that make up the Goddard community. Please join me in congratulating them for an honor most deserving and for inspiring us all.”

Dewayne Washington
Goddard Space Flight Center