Space Foundation Press Releases

Space Foundation vice president receives Women in Aerospace educator award

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 18, 2004) — Dr. Patricia J. Arnold, vice president of education and workforce development for the Space Foundation, recently received the Aerospace Educator Award from Women in Aerospace, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the advancement of women in aerospace and related careers and to recognizing the achievements of outstanding women in aerospace. Women in Aerospace awards the Aerospace Educator Award each year to an outstanding leader who displays the following exceptional qualities: excellence as a full-time aerospace educator, commitment to professional growth, motivation of students to excel in aerospace-related educational endeavors, service to colleagues and her community, and service as a role model or mentor who shows dedication to the advancement of women in aerospace. Dr. Arnold received the award in part for her work in the successful launch of the Educator Astronaut Program to lead a new generation of students and teachers in discovering the wonders of space. Dr. Arnold led the Space Foundation effort to form a national “Blue Ribbon Panel” to develop the educator astronaut evaluation criteria that resulted in NASA announcing earlier this year the selection of its first class of Educator Mission Specialist Astronauts. The program fundamentally changes how teachers and students around the world access space for the classroom. Dr. Arnold was the driving force behind a number of new educational initiatives at the Space Foundation. She led the creation of two new space education master’s degrees, the first of their kind in the country. The collaborative efforts with the Space Foundation include a degree through the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs specializing in space that is both interdisciplinary and interdepartmental in nature, and a Regis University online degree in professional leadership with a space studies emphasis. Dr. Arnold developed the first national Space Career Fair for College Students, held simultaneously with the space industry’s premier event, the National Space Symposium. More than 300 students from across the country attended the career fair, which reached out to more than 600 educational institutions and organizations and drew high praise for its success. Dr. Arnold founded the Teacher Liaison Program, which selects teachers nationwide to be an active link between the Space Foundation, NASA, and their school/district in advocating and promoting space and science education through standards-based lessons, professional development, and NASA activities. Dr. Arnold joined the Space Foundation in December 2001. She manages all Space Foundation education initiatives and serves as the Foundation’s primary contact with the educational community. Her responsibilities include organizing and leading all education programs, including Space Discovery™ summer graduate courses, Teaching With Space™ in-service training programs, Space in the Classroom™ regional educator conferences, and National Space Symposium education activities. She continually creates new education and work force programs, securing grant funding and providing resources and materials to educators through the foundation’s NASA Educator Resource Center at its Colorado Springs headquarters and on-line at Dr. Arnold’s distinguished 35-year academic career includes serving as dean of arts and sciences at the University of Southern Colorado; principal of elementary, junior high and high schools; and teaching at all levels from pre-kindergarten to college. She currently serves on various professional and community committees and boards in Colorado Springs and Pueblo, Colo. Dr. Arnold earned a Bachelor of Arts at Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas; a Master of Arts from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs; and a doctorate in educational leadership and innovation at the University of Colorado at Denver. For more information about Women in Aerospace and the Women in Aerospace awards, visit About the Space Foundation The Space Foundation has trained more than 30,000 teachers in national teacher training conferences. Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, the Space Foundation is a national nonprofit organization that vigorously advances civil, commercial, and national security space endeavors and educational excellence. The Space Foundation has offices in Washington, D.C., and Cape Canaveral, Fla. The Space Foundation annually conducts, along with its partnering organizations, the National Space Symposium, scheduled April 4-7, 2005, at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs; and Strategic Space 2005, scheduled Oct. 4-6, 2005, in Omaha, Neb. For more information, visit