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      The accepted narrative describes the Knights Templar as humble warrior monks protecting Christians on the road to Jerusalem. 

      The Knights were later betrayed and, ultimately, destroyed. 
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    • By NASA
      NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy speaks with Under Secretary of Commerce for Minority Business Development, Donald Cravins, Jr., Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023, at the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building in Washington. NASA/Aubrey Gemignani NASA and the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Dec. 28, 2023, to help connect minority businesses to NASA acquisition and development opportunities. Outreach efforts will focus on engaging both minority and other underserved businesses.
      With a term of three years, the MOU enables the continuous efforts of both agencies’ longstanding partnership to foster, promote, and develop the nation’s minority business enterprises in the aerospace industry, and highlights the Biden-Harris Administration’s economic investments in the sector. NASA and MBDA have a history of collaboration; this further solidifies a partnership to work towards mitigating barriers to equity.
      “At NASA, we explore for the benefit of all humanity, and as we venture deeper into the cosmos, we are dedicated to developing partnerships that bring diverse perspectives and talent to the forefront,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy. “Creating equitable and inclusive opportunities allows everyone to experience the strategic and economic advantages of exploring space.”
      Under the terms of the agreement, the agencies will work together to highlight subject-matter experts within the federal government and private sector who can support initiatives to help minority business enterprises seeking NASA acquisition opportunities. The Minority Development Business Agency will use its network of business centers and programs to promote these opportunities with NASA.
      “The Minority Business Development Agency is collaborating with NASA to ensure minority and other underserved businesses have the opportunities to help humanity explore worlds beyond our own,” said Donald Cravins, Jr., Under Secretary of Commerce for Minority Business Development. “Through this collaboration, MBDA will work closely with NASA to identify aerospace industry initiatives, support outreach efforts, and foster federal partnership opportunities for the businesses we serve. As opportunities in the aerospace industry continue to expand to new frontiers, MBDA is committed to helping guide federal investments with equity and intention.”
      Through this effort, NASA and MBDA aim to boost equitable participation of minority businesses in aerospace technology and scientific discovery by identifying and addressing barriers and policy gaps.
      Learn more about NASA’s Office of Small Business Programs at:
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      amber.c.jacobson@nasa.gov / roxana.bardan@nasa.gov
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      GSFC summer interns NASA is celebrating National Mentoring Month by recognizing the importance of mentors to students and young professionals whose careers are beginning to take off. Mentors help their mentees gain real-world experiences, make valuable connections, and find the types of roles best suited to their strengths and skills.
      To learn more about early career takeaways, we spoke to three NASA mentors: Renita Fincke, NASA biomedical research projects engineer at Johnson Space Center in Houston; Wade Sisler, executive producer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland; and Kyle Ellis, a project manager in the Aeronautics Research Directorate at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.
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      Renita Fincke, NASA biomedical research projects engineer at Johnson Space Center in Houston. Work hard and carry yourself professionally.
      If you fully commit to excelling in your role, you’ll be better prepared to take advantage of unexpected opportunities or adjust to changing circumstances.
      “Give it your all,” Fincke said. “In my journey, I’ve discovered that boosting your career involves a relentless pursuit of knowledge, adapting to changes, and being ready to try for exciting opportunities when the timing is just right.”
      While you’re putting in a lot of effort toward your high-level goals, don’t lose sight of seemingly small details.
      “Lean in, be punctual, be present, communicate like a pro, and get your work in on time,” Sisler said. “Your mentor will notice. Your entire office will notice.”
      Be your own advocate.
      Concentrate on how you communicate. Telling your story in a way that resonates with your audience enables them to understand and see the value in your work.
      “Learn to identify who your stakeholders are and answer the question, ‘Why should they care?’” Ellis said. “Being able to tell a clear, succinct story about what you do and why is the key to improving countless things: interest, support, awareness, etc. Don’t take the power of communication for granted.”
      Wade Sisler, executive producer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Be resilient.
      Challenges and failures are inevitable, so don’t give up!
      “The path to success is rarely linear, and the ability to adapt is a strength,” Fincke said. “Embrace the mindset that errors are opportunities for learning, growth, and necessary pivots, so do not fear failure; let it be a catalyst for resilience.”
      Ellis recalled that as a student, he spent a lot of time unnecessarily fearing what others would think if he tried something new without knowing for sure he’d get it right. “What I learned is that failure is common when you’re exploring possibilities,” Ellis said. “And it often teaches us more in a shorter period than the success we experience.
      Kyle Ellis, a project manager in the Aeronautics Research Directorate at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Network and ask questions.
      Work with a mentor to outline your tasks and goals, and don’t be self-conscious about discussing your most ambitious longer-term career objectives.
      “The most successful interns in our office are often the most inquisitive ones,” Sisler said. “Find out what the people in your office do and how they fit into the organization. Tell as many people as you can your story, ask how they came to NASA, and ask them for their insights and advice.”
      Ellis emphasized that NASA is filled with experts who are happy to share their wisdom with students and young professionals.
      “If they sense the spark in you, they’ll most certainly help you along your career and connect you with more like-minded people who are solving some of the most important problems in and out of this world,” Ellis said.
      The support and guidance of an encouraging mentor can make a tremendous difference in a student’s career growth and personal development – and it’s a rewarding experience for mentors, too.
      “Pick up a mentee in your first or second year in a new role,” Ellis said. “It’s amazing what you learn from someone who is learning from you.”
      Want an opportunity to work with one of NASA’s amazing mentors? Apply for a NASA internship here.
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