Leland Melvin was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1986, but a hamstring injury thwarted his NFL career. He went on to work at NASA Langley Research Center in the area of nondestructive testing creating optical fiber sensors for measuring damage in aerospace vehicles. Leland recently released the memoir, Chasing Space: An Astronaut’s Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances, sharing his personal journey from the gridiron to the stars, and examining the intersecting roles of community, perseverance and grace that align to create the opportunities for success.
After hanging up his space boots he was appointed head of NASA Education and served as the co-chair on the White House’s Federal Coordination in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Task Force. Hear his fascinating story of perseverance and how he ultimately traveled off-planet twice on Space Shuttle Atlantis to help build the International Space Station.
2018 marks the 6th Annual Southern Virginia STEM-H Summit. This event, hosted by the Southside Higher Education Coalition, brings together ALL regional stakeholders: business & community leaders, teachers & students, around the subject of STEM- H education & workforce development in southern Virginia. The summit leaders seek to foster conversations about high quality STEM-H education, along with the skills required for a truly “STEM-capable” workforce. Leland Melvin will be the keynote for the student luncheon.
The Southern Piedmont Technology Council was founded in 1998 and this year the organization celebrates twenty years of advancing technology in the region. The Innovation Stars Awards Banquet will celebrate the technology innovators in our region.
The banquet will include an award ceremony that recognizes leaders in the following categories: Chairman’s Award, Innovation in Technology, Innovation in Education, Innovation in Education or Community Outreach, Innovation in Community, Rising Star, and Student Innovator. In addition, the Southern Virginia STEM-H Education and Industry Achievement Awardees will be recognized.