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Released August 4, 2003

NASA SELECTS SOUTHERN MISS FACULTY MEMBER
FOR $604,000 FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM

HATTIESBURG - A professor in The University of Southern Mississippi's School of Computer Science and Statistics is inspiring the next generation of space explorers. Dr. Jim Miller, an associate professor of computer science at Southern Miss' Gulf Park campus, has been selected to participate in the NASA Faculty Fellowship Program (NFTP) at Stennis Space Center.

Funded at $604,141 over three years, the grant will be shared between Southern Miss and Southern University of Baton Rouge, and used to coordinate a long-standing educational thrust that brings faculty members to NASA sites for research opportunities. These experiences are designed to provide university faculty with research and instructional tools that will enrich their teaching practices, motivating students to pursue careers in science, mathematics, technology and engineering.

"We consider a grant that puts us in a better position to compete for additional research dollars from an agency such as NASA to be a very good grant," said Miller, who will serve in an administrative role for the program.

Housed under the Education Enterprise, the NFTP is a nationwide program promoting the exchange of ideas between faculty and NASA employees. By engaging minority and underrepresented faculty and students in its educational programs, the program captures NASA's commitment to broadening the participation of all citizens in the agency's mission.

"Congratulations to Dr. Miller and Southern Miss for receiving this honor," U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) said. "Dr. Miller is helping to strengthen the credentials of an already well-respected faculty at Southern Miss. I am sure this program will be mutually beneficial and further the relationship between Southern Miss and Stennis."

The program at Stennis began in 1990 and has to date brought Southern Miss about $2 million, Miller said, with about $500,000 coming in 2002-03. One hundred thirty-five faculty members have participated at Stennis, with 10 faculty members coming from Southern Miss.

"Because the program involves faculty members in 10 weeks of on-site research activity, it serves as a natural platform for additional funding through NASA," Miller said.

In addition to furthering the professional knowledge of qualified engineering and science faculty members, other objectives of the NFTP include:

" stimulating an exchange of ideas between participants and employees of NASA; " contributing to the research objectives of the NASA Center; and " providing faculty insight into NASA's future human resources needs and education program opportunities for student engagement in NASA research.

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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