The University of Arkansas at Little Rock welcomes Dr. Constance Meadors as the first associate director of the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium and NASA Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).
In her new role, Meadors is responsible for overseeing the planning of the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium partnering with numerous state agencies and programs during the 2024 Solar Eclipse that will put most of central Arkansas in the path of totality. Additionally, she will organize the Outreach Program, work with NASA to align ASGC and NASA EPSCoR programs, and will serve as the liaison to NASA.
“It is an honor to return to the place where my NASA experience and rocket science research started,” Meadors stated. “In my new position as associate director, I plan to utilize my experience and passion to capitalize on the state’s homegrown talent and aerospace industry to move the entire state into the new space economy.”
Meadors brings a diverse portfolio of space research and NASA experience, including a NASA graduate fellow. She served as the first NASA Intergovernmental Personnel Assignee (IPA) – Minority Serving Institution (MSI) STEM Engagement Liaison-Faculty Fellow at Kennedy Space Center in the STEM Engagement office. She established and led the NASA EPSCoR advisory council.
She was part of the team to develop the first Predominantly Black Institution (PBI)/Historically Black College or University (HBCU) Minority University Research Education Program (MUREP) solicitation, Diversity Equity Accessibility Priority for Research and Education (DEAP). She created MUREP Kennedy Space Center Courageous Conversations.
She hosted the first NASA Juneteenth Celebration, one day before it became a national holiday. Meadors’ research includes hybrid rockets, combustion, micro-thrusters and biomedical engineering, making her a literal “rocket scientist.”
Her academic experiences include K-12, community college, private and public institutions. She has served as associate dean of arts and sciences, dean of applied science technology, chair of electronics, director of electronics engineering technology and held many STEM teaching positions.
Meadors earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Grambling State University as well as a Master of Science in Applied Science with a focus on instrumentation and a Ph.D. in Applied Science Engineering Science and Systems from UA Little Rock.
She holds the distinction of being the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in Engineering Science and Systems from UA Little Rock and the first African American and female to teach mechanical engineering at Harding University.