The goal of the Academy and MARTI is to inspire high-performing and accomplished students to strive for leadership in the Aero-Space program. The primary objectives of the programs are the following:
- Provide upper level undergraduate and up to rising second year graduate students cutting-edge research opportunities with NASA scientists, engineers and educators.
- Provide opportunities for leadership development, teamwork and relationship building.
- Connect to communities at different places in the educational pipeline through special projects and outreach efforts, especially to underrepresented student populations.
- Link Academy and MARTI alumni to future hiring opportunities within NASA and throughout the aerospace program.
The NASA Academy and MARTI programs are committed to providing a strong technical foundation through which leadership potential can develop among an academically strong and diverse student population. Upon graduation, students immediately find themselves within a latticed network of support from the NASA Academy Alumni Association (NAAA). The structure promotes placement of program participants in positions of employment within NASA and in related industries. The intent is to cast a wider net to minority serving institutions so that qualified but underrepresented student populations increase their percentage in the Academy and MARTI applicant pools.
The Academy and MARTI alumni and NASA engineers and scientists are encouraged to promote the programs during their public talks and within their networks in academia. The vision of the Academy as described by its founder and NASA employee, the late Dr. Gerald Soffen, is “To give possible leaders a view into how NASA, the university community, and the private sector function, set their priorities, and contribute to the success of the aerospace program.” In today’s world, the need for such an opportunity is even more compelling. NASA needs inspired and educated youth eager to take us to the moon, to Mars, and to study all that lies beyond.