AU Press Releases

University senior speaks with members of Congress in support of NASA

BAY AREA HOUSTON, TEXAS – From May 18-21, 2009, Jessica Evans, a senior at Alfred University, Alfred, N.Y., traveled with 25 other students and 89 additional representatives on behalf of Citizens for Space Exploration (CSE), to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., with a singular purpose – support of an adequately funded human space exploration program that encompasses the Space Shuttle, International Space Station and Constellation programs. The group also expressed support for a long-term goal of investing 1% of the federal budget annually in NASA compared to the .5% currently received. The Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership’s Aerospace Advisory Committee sponsored Evans. 2009 marked the 18th annual trip of CSE – formerly known as National Keep It Sold – to Washington for meetings with congressional representatives. Representing 24 states, CSE travelers met with 341 congressional offices from 49 states. It has grown to be the nation’s largest (i.e. most congressional offices contacted) pro-NASA, pro-space exploration grassroots annual trip to Washington. BAHEP is home to the CSE-Texas Committee. Bob Mitchell, president of the organization, said, “The significance of CSE’s annual visit to Washington cannot be underestimated. By meeting personally with these decision makers in Washington, we are better able to impress upon them NASA’s scientific, technological, and economic impact that affects us in so many positive ways.” CSE works with elected officials, corporate and individual contacts to ensure continued political and public support for our nation’s space programs. CSE is comprised of a diverse group of small and large business representatives, students and teachers, and county/municipal officials and employees. Evans is from both Louisville and Paducah, Ky. She is a 2005 graduate of Paducah Tilghman High School and is the daughter of Donna Evans and Matthew Evans. Her double major is ceramic engineering and chemistry. Evans joined other undergraduate and graduate students from colleges and universities across the nation to inform elected officials of the importance they place on the space program. In addition to ceramic engineering and chemistry, their majors included aerospace engineering, astrophysics, aviation business administration, mechanical engineering, math, physics, and planetary geology and astronomy. The program and its many initiatives relate directly to their future careers. The students wanted to ensure that their representatives were aware not only of their support of NASA but also of the electoral influence that they and their fellow students and faculty carry. When asked about her participation in the CSE trip, Evans replied, “This program is really important to me, because of the innovation that comes from NASA. The future implications from what they create, in regard to engineering, material sciences, and the creation of new materials, really advances my chosen fields of ceramic engineering and chemistry.” ### Bay Area Houston is an economically and internationally diversified, high-tech region that is home to NASA Johnson Space Center and numerous industries including aerospace, specialty chemical, and a rapidly growing health care industry. Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership is a member-driven organization that provides the leadership to stimulate regional economic development and employment in southeast Texas. Its members include more than 260 investor companies, business professionals, local governments, and educational institutions encompassing 13 cities, Galveston and Harris counties, and the Port of Houston Authority. Visit Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program is administered by the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership. It is a State of Texas funded initiative designed to transfer the knowledge and technology of the U.S. Space Program to small businesses to solve technical challenges they are unable to solve themselves. Visit Coalition for Space Exploration is a collaboration of space industry businesses and advocacy groups organized to help educate and inform the public about the value and benefits of space exploration. Visit