NASA Awards Delgado Community College $420,000 for New Engineering Design and Prototyping Program

October 03, 2019

The grant was secured by a female physics professor collaborating with four-year universities and will put underrepresented students on a STEM career path with NASA in advanced manufacturing and research.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced a two-year $420,000 grant to Delgado Community College. The grant comes through the NASA Minority University Research and Education Program (MUREP) under its Innovations in Space Technology Curriculum (MISTC) initiative.

The grant will assist Delgado in preparing students for future employment at NASA, with an emphasis on advanced manufacturing in space applications. The award enables eligible Delgado students to receive up to $5,000 in direct scholarships to take three newly created classes over three semesters beginning in spring 2020:

  • Intro to Rapid-Prototyping
  • Prototyping w/CNC Machining
  • Composite Design and Prototyping

The new classes are offered within the Computer Aided Design and Drafting Department at the Delgado Sidney Collier Site, which is located in New Orleans City Council District E—also the location of the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans East.

Enrolled students will complete a week-long field trip to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to participate in the Additive Manufacturing Project for the In-Space Manufacturing of Lightweight Metal Alloys. High-performing students will complete internships at NASA facilities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to collaborate with our four-year higher education partners and with our esteemed industry partner, NASA,” said Larissa Littleton-Steib, chancellor of Delgado Community College. “This funding will enable Delgado to meet the needs of this industry by providing students with relevant training to prepare them for careers in space advanced manufacturing,” she said.

“We’re excited that Delgado Sidney Collier, which exists in a traditionally underserved community, will act as a catalyst to NASA employment,” said Tamika Duplessis, executive dean of the Delgado Sidney Collier Site and the college’s acting vice chancellor of student affairs.

The Delgado NASA MISTC grant is a collaboration between Delgado Community College, Northwestern State University of Louisiana, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and The 1881 Institute. The principal investigator is Joanna Rivers, assistant professor of physics at Delgado. Co-investigators are Ann Dugas of Northwestern State University of Louisiana, Jonathan Raush of University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Bahiy Watson of The 1881 Institute.


Delgado Community College will celebrate 100 years of service to the New Orleans region in 2021. The oldest and largest community college in Louisiana, Delgado provides instruction online and at seven locations. Fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Delgado offers students the most comprehensive array of education and training services available in the 10-parish New Orleans region. Additionally, Delgado has articulation agreements with most of the state’s four-year colleges and universities that allow students to transfer their Delgado credits to bachelor’s degree programs. As well as offering degrees and transferable college credits, Delgado provides diplomas and certificates in many professional and technical areas. Workforce development is a priority at Delgado, hence the college’s well-known motto: “Education that works!”