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Southern University partners with Boeing and NASA for aerospace engineering mentorship program

1 month 2 days 15 hours ago Monday, September 21 2020 Sep 21, 2020 September 21, 2020 10:24 AM September 21, 2020 in News
Source: The Advocate

BATON ROUGE - Southern University has established a partnership with Boeing that will allow some of its students to work alongside NASA scientists on a program that will send astronauts into space, according to The Advocate.

The exciting mentoring program, led by the university's engineering college, puts students in touch with NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) program for 18 months. The SLS, The Advocate says, is the world's most powerful rocket and has the ability to launch missions to the moon, Mars, and beyond.   

Educators at Southern hope the new "mentor-protégé" agreement will allow more students of color to work in aerospace engineering and related fields. 

Cedric Cole, a graduate of Southern who now works as an SLS team member, spoke to The Advocate about the opportunity the new partnership affords, saying, "It’s the exposure that they’ll get that will set them up for the rest of their career. The amount of intense engineering that goes on here, it’ll set you up to work in almost any industry."

As an electrical and avionics engineer, Cole uses his expertise to work on wiring harnesses and to program and troubleshoot rockets.

He went on to tell The Advocate, "The fact that you’re using 3-D and 2-D modeling software and then there's the physical aspect of it where you get to physically touch the wiring harnesses and the connectors and being able to have the hands-on experience will set anybody up in engineering.”

In recent years, the aerospace engineering arena has been making strides, not only in technology, but in making it a practice to hire people of various cultures and backgrounds. NASA, for example has seen a steady increase in diversity over the last 20 years, according to The Advocate. 

And now that Southern has inked an exciting new deal that will facilitate the partnerships of its students with NASA's scientists, the university looks forward to seeing more of its alumni among those who play a role in the expansion of space exploration. 

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