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External Relations Office recognizes volunteers

More than 400 volunteers for the Johnson Space Center were recognized by the center’s External Relations Office in an awards ceremony on July 26 in the Teague Auditorium. During the past year those volunteers reached more than a half million people through their outreach efforts.

Attendees listen to speakers at ERO recognition event.
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Attendees listen to speakers at ERO recognition event.
The volunteers served as mentors for Teaching in Space, performed on-camera interviews for NASA’s Digital Learning Network shows and braved the heat, humidity and crowds during Open House, Ballunar Fest, Houston Rodeo, Shuttlebration and many other local events. They also entertained and informed VIPs as they toured our facilities and visited classroom after classroom and club meeting after club meeting to share NASA’s message of exploration with the world.

During the recognition ceremony, three volunteers were give special recognition for going above and beyond.

Jerry Woodfill was recognized for his work with JSC’s Education Office. Woodfill is the Technical Manager’s Representative in the Software Robotics and Simulation Division. He has given countless presentations to NASA educational groups on-site, traveled off-site to schools to give presentations motivating high school and college students to follow their dreams, Skyped with Education students when he is unable to travel to them directly, and is consistently willing to involve himself in Education outreach.

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ERO recognition event attendees collaborate in the Teague Lobby.
Education wrote, “Jerry’s enthusiasm for inspiring our future engineers is contagious. He even wrote a song for the Community College Aerospace Scholars tenth year event, performing it multiple times for our students and guests.”

Raphael A. Grau was recognized for his work with the Community Relations Office (CRO). Grau is the Acting Manager for the External Integration Office in the International Space Station Office. He continuously supports the Speakers Bureau, Education Outreach, Protocol and Guest Operations.

CRO wrote, “Ralph goes above and beyond to talk about NASA to the general public. He is willing to take on Speakers Bureau assignments with short notice. He is very easy to work with, and is a very talented speaker. He is well versed in many languages and has translated when needed for a number of years. He transcends multiple functions. He has made outstanding contributions in sharing NASA’s mission with the public through information, engagement, and inspiration.”

Walter Yarbrough was recognized for his work with the Office of Communications and Public Affairs. Yarbrough is a Recon Specialist for The Portable Computer System, or PCS. These are the laptops on board the International Space Station. He works on the Boeing contract in support of the Avionics and Software Office and is one of JSC’s most loyal event volunteers.

CPAO wrote, “For years Wally has supported NASA events in the Houston-area, no matter the hours of the shift, the noise level of the location, and in all conditions from frigid to days of 100 degree events, from rain-soaked exhibit grounds to sold-out stadiums mobbed by hordes of enthusiastic fans. He is always ready to assist with the unexpected ‘challenges’ an exhibit staffer comes to expect. He is equally at ease with technical audiences, families or sports fans. He is an invaluable asset to NASA JSC’s outreach efforts.”

See event photo page also on JSC Features!


Lynnette Madison
Johnson Space Center, Houston
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