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The University of Tennessee Space Institute Presents the 14th Annual Black History Celebration Program

The University of Tennessee Space Institute will present their 14th Annual Black History Celebration Program on Wednesday, February 4, at 10:30 am in the UTSI Auditorium. Featured guest speaker, Lewis Braxton III, Deputy Center Director at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, will address the theme “Achieving Growth through Change” and a reception to honor Mr. Braxton will follow after the program.

Mr. Braxton holds an Associate of Arts Degree from Merced Junior College, a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from California State University, Frenso, a Masters in Business Administration from Golden Gate University, San Francisco, and also received a degree in General Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Business by completing the Program for Management Development. He has also qualified as a Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) through the Association of Government Accountants and maintains the certification. Braxton is affiliated with the Association of Government Accountants, San Francisco Bay Area Federal Financial Managers Council, Blacks in Government, and the Northern California Harvard Business School Alumni’s.

Lew Braxton began his career with NASA over 30 years ago as a co-op student accountant trainee at Dryden Flight Research Center in 1975 while earning his B.S. After Braxton graduated from California State Fresno, he accepted an operating accountant position in the Financial Management Division at Ames Research Center. Braxton has served as Branch Chief in several financial branches, as well as Staff Assistant to the Administrative Directorate at Ames. He became Chief of the Financial Management Division in 1994, and also served as Chief of the Resources Management Office, before becoming Chief Financial Officer in 1998. In February 2004, Braxton became the Director of Center of Operations, where he was responsible for planning, directing and coordinating the Center’s management operations necessary to support aeronautics, information technology and space research programs. In October 2008, Braxton was confirmed as the Deputy Center Director at Ames, a position that he had held in an acting capacity since July of that year. He assists in directing a center of over 2500 employees (civil service and contractor), and 1900 acres with facilities that include an airfield, arcjets, a suite of wind-tunnels, aerosimulators, two of the fastest supercomputers in the world, and the innovative NASA Research Park. He also helps oversee Ames’ projects, which include the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), and the Kepler mission to search for Earth-like planets.

Lew Braxton has been recognized by NASA for his management and service excellence, and also received the NASA Group Achievement Award for his involvement with the Dryden Separation Team in 1996 and the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award in 2007. Braxton has been awarded numerous excellence and service awards from NASA, as well as being recognized for his contributions to the Ames African-American Advisory Group.

Mr. Braxton will be accompanied by Mr. Donald James, Education Director of NASA Ames Research Center.