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September 23, 2014
RELEASE 14-040
NASA Glenn Honors Employees’ Contributions

NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, recently held its 2014 Honor and Center Awards ceremony, recognizing 96 individuals and 650 team members for exceptional contributions and achievements in science, technology, engineering, craftsmanship, leadership and administrative service.

Those honored, said Glenn’s Center Director Jim Free, “made a dramatic impact in executing the mission of NASA and have distinguished themselves above and beyond NASA’s high standards of performance. The contributions made by our award recipients demonstrate a clear dedication to NASA and personify why the people of NASA are our greatest asset.”

Free welcomed award recipients and their guests and introduced Alex Longo, a ninth grade student at The Montessori School of Raleigh, North Carolina, who delivered the keynote address and joined Free in presenting awards.

Longo’s passion for space exploration came at the age of five, while watching the STS-114 return to flight space shuttle mission. He then viewed every subsequent space shuttle launch until the orbiters’ retirement in 2011. In May 2014, Longo was invited to speak at NASA’s First Landing Site Workshop for the 2020 Mars Rover Mission.

The honorees, their Ohio hometown and the award citations are:

Senior Executive Service: Sean M. Gallagher was appointed to the position of Chief Information Officer, effective July 27, 2014.

Marla E. Perez-Davis was appointed to the position of Deputy Director, Research and Engineering Directorate, effective January 26, 2014.

Outstanding Leadership Medal: Michael A. Bilinovich, for outstanding leadership and commitment managing complex security projects, which have created a safer, secure environment and elevated the center's security posture.

Robert J. Buehrle, Granger Township, for outstanding organizational and technical leadership in the development of aerospace flight and ground systems contributing to the success of NASA's mission.

Frank Gati, Brunswick, for outstanding leadership in the Systems Engineering discipline at Glenn allowing NASA to meet mission requirements and attain our goals.

Dennis L. Huff, North Olmsted, for outstanding leadership through exemplary collaborative effort with industry and international regulatory organizations utilizing NASA-developed technologies.

Mary C. Lester, for outstanding leadership and commitment to the management of critical Center Operations functions leading to successful program and mission support.

Lee S. Mason, North Royalton, for outstanding leadership guiding significant advances in space nuclear power generation technology and systems development for the agency.

Timothy P. McCartney, Bedford, for outstanding leadership in the Advanced Aircraft Project Office, demonstrating programmatic and supervisory skills achieving significant levels of mission success.

Marsha M. Nall, Independence, for outstanding leadership of Glenn’s Human Research Program advancing NASA's crew health and exploration goals through innovation, collaboration and personal leadership.

Thomas P. Ratvasky, Fairview Park, for outstanding leadership through a profound and indelible contribution to icing flight research.

Ronald W. Sepesi, for outstanding and sustained leadership as the center’s Source Evaluation Board Advisor, enabling agency-high process efficiency and assuring high quality selection decisions.

Laurence A. Sivic, Broadview Heights, for outstanding leadership in achieving results, serving as a role model, leading people and influencing change at Glenn.

Thomas H. St. Onge, for outstanding leadership of more than thirty successful fluid physics, combustion science and human health flight investigations aboard the International Space Station.

Exceptional Service Medal: Kevin R. Carmichael, Westlake, for outstanding service in developing and overseeing the execution of engineering and software standards while also performing and delivering on substantial additional duties.

George Scott Crawford, a native of Massillon, for exceptional service in managing and improving the Glenn’s Counter Intelligence and Counter Terrorism programs.

Robert B. Cross, for outstanding leadership, service, innovative approaches and contributions in the area of risk reduction and audit analysis for Safety and Mission Assurance.

Steven L. Fedor, Mayfield Village, for outstanding service in small and minority business, reimbursable agreements and export control and providing expertise in the administration of these critical areas.

Cynthia D. Forman, Akron (a native of Findlay, Ohio), for exceptional human resource service to NASA in employee and organization development, staffing and classification and employee relations in the Office of Human Capital Management.

Thomas W. Haag, for exceptional contributions to the electric propulsion field, including the evaluation of numerous innovative concepts and qualification of electric propulsion systems.

Michael A. Meador, Strongsville, (a native of Elmira, New York), for exceptional service in leading NASA's Nanotechnology R&D activities and representation of the agency as a proactive member of the National Nanotechnology Initiative.

Gary A. Morse, Melbourne, Florida, for exceptional sustained service to NASA's mission, and for making significant contributions to Space Communications Network Services planning, development, and operations.

Thomas J. Parkey, Sheffield Village, for exceptional service to NASA's Cost Estimating and Analyses community on multiple projects and initiatives.

Jeffrey J. Rusick, Sagamore Hills Township, for outstanding dedication and performance in applying safety and mission assurance requirements and processes enabling mission success for NASA programs and projects.

Gwynn A. Severt, Northfield Village, for exceptional service as the Facility Manager and engineer of the Engine Research Building and role model/mentor for students and young engineers.

Joseph S. Wisniewski, for exceptional technical leadership, outstanding performance and service in support of the Engine Research Building; NASA Glenn Research Center High School Internship Project; and the NASA Test Facilities Operations, Maintenance and Engineering Apprentice Program.

Exceptional Public Service Medal: Richard L. Gilmore, North Ridgeville (a native of Elyria), an employee of SGT, Inc., for exceptional leadership in transforming the agency's approach evaluating the impact of projects and tools focused on students that are underrepresented and underserved.

Paul J. Lizanich, an employee of Sierra Logo, Inc., for exceptional leadership in the safe electrical and electronic operation of the Propulsion Systems Laboratory and as the vice chair of the Testing Division's Electrical Engineering team.

Ruth E. Scina, North Olmsted, an employee of Summit Technologies Solutions, for outstanding service in support of the Space Communication and Navigation Program, including configuration management, outreach and integration.

William V. Meyer, Lakewood (a native of Kearney, Nebraska) an employee of Universities Space Research Association, for exceptional technical leadership in the field of soft-condensed matter physics.

Exceptional Achievement Medal: Salah M. Ahmed, Westlake, for exceptional leadership in the agency-wide Master Planning Community; advancing collaboration toward improved future facility capabilities to meet mission requirements.

Susan E. DeRolph-Kolibas, Avon, for exceptional achievement in development of practices, procedures, tools and training for space flight project integrated master schedules.

Emily A. Doglio, Avon, for exceptional achievement strengthening Glenn's Information Technology (IT) posture and the agency's IT Investment practices through superior leadership and innovative approaches.

Kristie A. French, Huntsville, Alabama, for exceptional achievement in providing technical excellence, integrity and accomplishment in completing agency high-visibility mishap investigations.

David P. Irimies, Independence, for exceptional achievement as the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Testbed Project Manager, leading the checkout, commissioning and operations of the SCaN Testbed on the International Space Station.

Thomas A. Jett, Olmsted Falls, for exceptional technical leadership in management and operations, enabling successful completion of W-7 Compressor Test for the environmentally responsible aviation program.

Robert E. Jones, for exceptional achievement in developing and implementing NASA’s radio frequency spectrum management mission requirements, policies and initiatives.

Robert F. LaSalvia, for outstanding achievements and leadership in implementing online educator development strategies improving teachers' ability and confidence in instructing science, technology, engineering and math subjects.

Thong Luu, Westlake, for exceptional technical excellence in the development of Glenn’s process and product quality assurance procedures leading to successful recertification of software engineering Capability Maturity Model Integration, Maturity Level 2.

Donald L. Simon, Olmsted Falls, for outstanding development of an innovative, integrated model-based approach for combined aircraft engine performance trend monitoring and gas path fault diagnostics.

Christopher J. Steffen, Westlake for exceptional leadership as the Chief Engineer for the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator project.

Exceptional Public Achievement Medal: John W. Heyd, Westlake (a native of Brunswick) an employee of SGT, Inc., for exceptional support and innovative leadership resulting in effective management of resources and services critical to enabling agency objectives and program milestones.

Ivan E. Locci, Rocky River, an employee of the University of Toledo, for outstanding and innovative technical achievements that have provided significant contributions to NASA's mission.

Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal: Peter E. Kascak, Westlake, for exceptional engineering achievement in the creation of an electric motor without bearings, significantly decreases the likelihood of failures in rotating equipment.

Salvatore M. Oriti, for exceptional engineering achievement in completing an extensive test campaign utilizing the Flight-Like Advanced Stirling Convertor E3 Pair 1.

Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal: Steven M. Arnold, Bath Township, for outstanding micromechanics-based constitutive and multi-scale modeling capabilities, extending our computational capabilities from the micro-to component-scale design.

Timothy J. Bencic, Highland Heights (a native of Euclid, Ohio), for outstanding new technology development of Light Extinction Tomography, which significantly advances future research capabilities and critical testing in engine icing.

James A. DiCarlo, North Olmsted, for exceptional technological contributions in understanding durability of ceramic matrix composites enabling development of composites with increased temperature capability. 

David G. Fischer, Richfield Township (a native of Bel Air, Maryland) for exceptional and innovative technology advances to optical diagnostic and sensing systems for critical aeronautics and space missions.

Exceptional Administrative Achievement Medal: Stephanie J. Black, Fairview Park, for exceptional achievement in improving the management support of the Space Operations Project Office and enabling successful execution of NASA's goals in human spaceflight.

Early Career Achievement Medal: Bryan J. Harder, Bay Village, for exceptional contributions to NASA's Aeronautics goals by developing new environmental barrier coating systems for ceramic turbine engine materials.

Wensheng Huang, Fairview Park, for outstanding early career performance and leadership in electric propulsion that enables future science and exploration missions.

Craig I. Mehl, for outstanding achievement planning integrated solutions to manage complex, multiphase security projects elevating the security posture of agency and center Special Access Programs Security Programs.

Aaron A. Olmsted, North Ridgeville, for exceptional professional and personal achievements in support of the Glenn’s projects and programs.

Rohit Shastry, Fairview Park, for outstanding early career performance and leadership in electric propulsion that enables future science and exploration missions.

Lucas D. Staab, for outstanding mission contributions, excellent work performance and notable technical achievements as an early career aerospace engineer in structural dynamics.

Brian J. Tomko, Sheffield Village, for outstanding development of a system where MATLAB and Simulink Code is loaded onto microcontrollers for an inexpensive rapid-prototyping solution that can be used across the agency.

Kathryn K. Trase (a native of Litchfield, Ohio), for exceptional achievements on a major NASA program and a special assignment early in a career that promises to be full of many more exceptional achievements.

Equal Employment Opportunity: Dexter Johnson, Middleburg Heights, (a native of Buffalo, New York), for outstanding commitment to the diversity and inclusion values within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields while executing the NASA mission.

Silver Achievement Medal: Jerry F. Piasecki, Brecksville, for outstanding contributions to the advancement and readiness of the NASA Core Value - Safety - across the agency.

Silver Achievement Medal Group Award: Adopt-a-City Team, for extraordinary technology transfer to local manufacturers resulting in significant economic development under the President's Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative.

Glenn’s Research Center Shutdown Team, for outstanding planning, execution and successful center-wide shutdown processes during the 2013 Government Shutdown at Glenn.

Glenn Research Center Audit Team Members, for outstanding support of the efforts of the Glenn Research Center to achieve and maintain AS9100 C certification.

Fall Hazard Mitigation Team, for outstanding dedication and commitment to personnel safety by successfully mitigating extreme and high fall hazards at Glenn.

System for Tracking and Registering Apps and Websites Team, for exceptional review and update of the Glenn Web site inventory and environment to validate contacts; and for ensuring compliance with export control, privacy and digital strategy.

Forty-Year Service Award:

David P. Huntsman

Deborah L. Thompson, Elyria

Donna L. Miller

Gary A. Morse, Melbourne, Florida

James J. Onest

James F. Soeder

Patrick A. Iler

Robert G. Everett, Elyria

Robert A. Ziemke

Ronald W. Sepesi

Stephanie J. Black, Fairview Park

Carol J. Stofka  

Susan M. Johnson, Avon Lake

Thomas V. Hudach

Walter A. Wozniak

Forty-Five Year Service Award:

Kestutis C. Civinskas

James L. Smialek, Strongsville (a native of Vermillion Township)

Fifty-Five Year Service Award:

Gerald V. Brown

Group Achievement Awards: Eighty-six members of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Team, for overcoming challenges and successfully completing tests that confirm the readiness of dynamic radioisotope power systems for flight qualification.

Nineteen members of the Iso-Kinetic Probe (IKP) Flight Campaign Team, for outstanding performance in the design, fabrication, testing, delivery and operations of an iso-kinetic probe in support of the High Altitude Ice Crystal Flight Campaign.

Forty-five members of the NASA/United States Department of Education Pilot for outstanding development of a groundbreaking model of interagency collaboration for the advancement of high quality STEM teaching and learning in afterschool settings.

Six members of the Orion Crew Service Module Structures Team, for outstanding and significant contributions to the Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle Crew Service Module project in the development of the Fully Faired Orion design option.

Fifty-three members of the Space Flight Program and Project Integration Team, for exceptional performance of Project Planning, Control and Integration activities for space flight systems developed and operated by NASA Glenn Research Center.

Thirty-nine members of the Specialty Gas Management Team, for exceptional service in developing and implementing a specialty gas management system responsible for major process efficiencies, product accountability and cost savings.

Twenty-six members of the Survey Audits Assessments and Reviews Information Team (SAARIS) for outstanding team achievement in successfully migrating the SAARIS to Glenn without disruption of service while achieving cost savings and enhancing security and performance.

Ninety-three members of the PSL Engine Icing Validation Test Team, for outstanding accomplishment of the first ever replication of an in-flight ice crystal icing event using ground simulation with a full-scale engine at altitude.

Fifty members of the W7 Front Block Compressor Research Team, for exceptional accomplishment of the single stage compressor test in W7 High Speed Multistage Compressor facility before shutdown to complete a major Engineering Risk Assessment milestone.

Thirty-three members of NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System S-3B Aircraft Flight Research Team, for exceptional performance during research demonstration and validation of communication systems technologies for the agency and partners in support of national requirements.

Center Award recipients, their residence and award citations are below:

Federal Acquisition Certification For Program and Project Managers was presented to Thomas J. Sutliff, for satisfaction of NASA Federal Acquisition Institute requirements for the Senior-Expert Level. It grants membership into NASA’s Professional Acquisition Community and is recognized throughout the federal government.

The center’s most prestigious manufacturing award, the Craftsmanship Award for Manufacturing Technologies, was presented to Terry L. Ferrier for his exemplary skills, attention to detail and creativity in solving the instrumentation and assembly challenges for the Transonic Turbine Blade instrumentation.

The center’s most prestigious Craftsmanship Award for Assembly and Buildup Technologies Award was bestowed to Olen J. Reed, for his work on reactivating Cell 11 for Green Propellant Infusion Mission testing.

The center’s most prestigious engineering award, the Steven V. Szabo Engineering Excellence Award, was presented to members of the Recovery Team for engineering excellence in resolving the External Active Thermal Control System ammonia pump failure investigation for the International Space Station.

The Diversity Leadership Award was presented to Nikki D. Welch for leadership in African Heritage Advisory Group and other programs and activities designed to foster diversity and inclusion in Glenn’s workforce and the greater Cleveland community.

William T. Spilker, North Royalton, received the Small Business Technical Person of the Year award for management of the Facilities Construction 8(a) program at Glenn and has been responsible for the award of more than $21 million in construction contracts in 2013 to the small, disadvantaged business community in Northeast Ohio.

Ra-Deon L. Sledge, Seven Hills, was named Small Business Procurement Person of the Year for efforts in impacting the small business program through her contracting experience at NASA. 

John P. Pokatello, Strongsville, was named Small Business Program Person of the Year for his key role in the Manufacturing Division in achieving Glenn’s small business goals.

DB Consulting Group, Inc. of Mentor, Ohio was named Small Business Prime Subcontractor of the Year, for its work on taking care of small businesses to succeed and gives back through teaming arrangements, mentoring and work share efforts.

Honeywell Technology Solutions Inc., (HTSI) of Columbia, Maryland was named Large Business Prime Contractor of the Year, for success in its increased use of small businesses supporting the A3 contract.  HTSI also developed the first NASA Mentor-Protégé Program at Glenn.

Quality Assurance & Risk Management Services, Inc., of American Canyon, California was named Small Business Subcontractor of the Year for providing technical contributions across multiple NASA centers for contract execution.

Center Director Jim Free was presented with the NASA Small Business Prime Socioeconomic Goal Achievement Award and the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Achievement Recognition Award.

The Support Assistant/Clerical Award recognized civil service and contract support service assistants and clerical personnel for exceptional performance:

Mary A. Salvo, North Olmsted, for exceptional administrative support to the procurement staff, improving the timeliness of action item completion and the efficiency of senior-level document routing.

Amanda C. Thompson, for outstanding support of the Materials and Structures Division.

Laura K. Baker, an employee of SGT, Inc., for continued excellent support to the Human Capital Development Division, including her willingness to accept a new role as the Deputy SATERN Administrator Lead.

Rhonda S. Billick, Parma, an employee of SGT, Inc., for exceptional administrative support to, and invaluable knowledge of, the Office of Human Capital Management including significant efforts resulting from the center reorganization.

Jennifer Johns, an employee of SGT, Inc., for cooperative team attitude approach in the Space Technology Research Grants Program Office and the Space Technology Research Grants Program Plan.

For more information about NASA Glenn Research Center, visit:



Jeannette Owens
Glenn Research Center, Cleveland

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Page Last Updated: September 24th, 2014
Page Editor: Kathy Zona