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Great Engineers & Scientists

In 1676, Sir Isaac Newton wrote "If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants." In this blog, we take Newton's words to heart, and recognize the many great engineers and scientists upon whose shoulders we stand.

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General Charles Frank Bolden

Posted February 25, 2010 10:54 AM by nsbe

Currently serving as the Administrator of NASA, Charles Frank Bolden, Jr., also known as General Bolden, is a model example of how high one can climb with determination and dedication to their work and being a good leader. A graduate of the prestigious United States Naval Academy (USNA) with a degree in electrical science, Bolden understood early in his career that anything worth having in life is not easy.

Upon his graduation from USNA, Bolden started his military career in the United States Marine Corps as a second lieutenant. In the Marines, his career took to the sky, literally. Bolden successfully became a naval aviator and completed several flight missions over Southeast Asia.

Though he already received quite an education at USNA and during his time of service in the military, Bolden returned to school in 1977, attending the University of Southern California for a Masters of Science in systems engineering.

In 1981, his career would go to new heights when he became a NASA astronaut after being selected as an astronaut candidate the year before. Since then he has spent about 680 hours in space and has tackled many assignments such as Assistant Deputy Administrator of NASA Headquarters, Reliability and Quality Assurance Directorates of the Marshall Space Flight Center and the Kennedy Space Center, and Lead Astronaut for Vehicle Test and Checkout at the Kennedy Space Center to name a fraction. Understanding the importance of giving back, in 1994 Bolden left NASA to be the Deputy Commandment of Midshipmen at USNA, resuming active duty in the Marines to help train some of the United States' brightest leaders.

Following his time at USNA as Deputy Commandment of Midshipmen, he served as Commanding General in multiple military operations. These operations combined with his previous achievements and successes, he was promoted to the rank of Major General in July 1998; a rank well earned.

Leaving a legacy of achievements and leadership behind him for future generations in the military, Bolden retired from the military in 2004. On July 15, 2009, the United States Senate confirmed Charles F. Bolden, Jr. as NASA Administrator; position in which Bolden is the first African American to hold on a permanent basis.

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The mission of NSBE is to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.

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