One Giant Leap: Ken Davidian and Will Pomerantz at the Boston Museum of Science

On 13 May 2009, Ken Davidian (SSP 1989) of the Federal Aviation Administration and Will Pomerantz (MSS 2004) of the X PRIZE Foundation visited the Boston Museum of Science as guest panelists for One Giant Leap: Space Exploration and the New Pioneers. They were joined by Geoff Yoder of NASA, Joanne Gabrynowicz of the University of Mississippi, and panel moderator Spencer Reiss of Wired Magazine.

A video of the entire panel will be posted (sooner or later) on the WBGH Forum Network. (Subscribe to the RSS feed at the WGBH page to be notified of its posting.) In the meantime, here are a few photos from the event.

Ken Davidian (SSP 1989)

Will Pomerantz (MSS 2004)

From left to right: Will Pomerantz (MSS 2004), Ben Corbin (MSS 2007), Kirk Kittell (SSP 2006), Ken Davidian (SSP 1989)

Welcome to the new site

Hello, alumni, we've updated the web site. We'll still post ISU*USA news here, and we'll still have information about the board posted, but we want to let you know what's different.


The biggest change -- and the one we want you to know about right away -- is that we are going to use this site to keep ISU alumni contact information fresh.


Look to the left... do you see where it says, "Create new account"? We'd like you to register an account on Once your account is approved (there is a short delay to verify your account to prevent junk from getting through), you can post your contact information and view information of other alumni.

There are some things on the site that you can't see yet, such as the alumni list and a stream of alumni that post to Twitter.


One of the most important things we wanted to do as ISU*USA was to update the stale contact information in the ISU database with fresh, verified information. The value of being an ISU alumnus or alumna is the network; if the network is up-to-date, it creates an opportunity for you to get the full value of the network. Otherwise, it doesn't work.

If you register on this site, ISU*USA will be able to better serve you by maintaining the network. Periodically, say, twice a year, we will contact alumni and verify that the information posted here is up-to-date. It helps us help you.

We're not trying to compete with the profiles on the main ISU site. Any information posted here will be passed on to ISU to update their information, provided you give us permission (you'll see a checkbox for this on the registration form). However, since you elected us to the board, you have our ear to tell us what you want in an alumni web site and we will respond and (try to) give it to you.

What? (part 2)

This site is not meant to be a stand-alone social networking site for ISU alumni. There are other sites that do that better (honestly, if we could compete with them, we'd be off making our millions instead of doing the ISU*USA thing). Our goal is to be a reference site so that you can find reliable information about alumni. We give you a place in your profile to include your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter profile information. Get oriented here, get social there.


Post a comment. Or email us at Tell us what you think. We're here to serve you.

ISU @ ISDC 2009

Steve Brody sent out this message earlier this week: “Any alumni & friends of ISU who are attending ISDC this week, please stop by the ISU booth and say hi to Nassim Bovet, ISU Admissions Director, and myself.  There’s info available too on ISU’s newest offering — the Executive MBA degree.”

In addition, former board members and alumni Will Pomerantz and Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides are moderating panels. Current Board Member Ashley Whelan is also participating on a panel on Saturday afternoon and a number of other alums are speaking in various capacities.  If you are in the area (either for the conference or live here), most people have been congregating at the lobby bar before and after the conference dinners, so please come and join, and seek out other alumni!

ISU & NASA Federal Credit Union

A note from Steve Brody, may be of interest to alumni….

Dear ISU alumni (and faculty & staff) in the US:

Now that tax season is behind us (hopefully!), how’s about some good news on
‘personal finances’ brought to you by ISU? If you have wanted to join a
credit union but haven’t been eligible, now you are.

ISU is now a member organization in the NASA Federal Credit Union, and this
will allow ISU alumni, faculty, and staff living in the U.S. to join the
NASA Federal Credit Union.

The website is at:

The NASA credit union will allow ISU alumni to be considered a part of the
ISU ‘employee group’ for membership eligibility; you will see this term used
on the membership portion of the website.  If you have any difficulty
joining, the credit union membership person to contact is:

Diane Morris

I have generally found credit union rates, services, fees, etc., better for
the consumer than commercial banks, but I will leave any comparisons and
‘pros & cons’ to whomever is interested.

NOTE: This NASA Credit Union primarily serves the DC/Baltimore metropolitan
area in that its branches are located there (see ‘locations’ on the
website). Credit Unions at NASA locations in other areas around the country
are not necessarily affiliated with this credit union.

As indicated on the website under “Locations”, members of the NASA Federal
Credit Union do have free ATM access at “thousands of ATMs across the
country” including at “7-Eleven Store ATMs in 30 states across the U.S.”

I am happy to be able to announce that this benefit is available to ISU’s
US-based alumni.


ISU Addresses Workforce Retention at AIAA Conference

As the aerospace industry ponders over how to develop its workforce, the International Space University may provide part of the industry’s answer. Steve Brody, Vice President of ISU North American Operations, addressed this issue at the AIAA’s “Inside Aerospace” conference in May, which focused on the theme of “Building and Retaining the Aerospace Workforce.”

Brody was part of the “Engaging within the University” panel which explored the questions of how today’s college students are being prepared to solve today’s global challenges and to be tomorrow’s explorers.

During his presentation, Brody was able to share with the audience of government, industry and education professionals information about how ISU addresses these issues. His response included ISU’s team projects that address a variety of global issues and ISU’s 3 “I’s”, which help shape ISU graduates as they pursue their professional goals. Brody discussed with the audience that ISU provides excellent professional development opportunities that lead to strong and committed professionals.

Developing the future workforce has become a rising issue within the aerospace industry. In 2008, Aviation Week reported that over 60 percent of the industry is over the age of 50, yet only 22 percent our under the age of 35. Compounding this issue is the noticeably high attrition rate for young professionals.

The annual conference, co-sponsored this year by the Aerospace Industries Association, the Air Force Association and others, is designed to connect policymakers, industry, and other stakeholders to address a pressing aerospace-related issue. For more information visit:

Hello, alpha alumni

Hello, and thanks for responding to the call to be an early user of the newer-than-new ISU*USA web site. It's different than the one currently up at However, before we move this Deimos version of the site over there to become the main site, we would like to offer you a test drive so you can help us improve.

The fundamental purpose of this site: offer a better solution for ISU alumni to share and find contact information of other alumni. I appreciate what the staff at ISU has tried to do for the alumni community, but when I recently moved to Massachusetts to work for a different company, I was not able to easily find: (1) alumni who used to work for this company so that I could ask questions before accepting the job; (2) alumni who lived in the area.

I thought that ISU*USA could help fix this problem and improve the networking part of the ISU network. This site will not recreate the social and professional communities of Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. (although it will link user profiles on this site to their profiles on those sites; find people here, get social there.) This site is for reference: when you want to find something specific in the ISU community, look here.

Features of the site:

  • Alumni list. Filter by name, location, ISU class attended, and current company. Click on a user for more information.
  • Events. See (and add to) a list of events that ISU alumni are attending. You can signup for the events as well if you are going and be added to a list of attendees. Purpose: networking. If you attend an event, you can later go back and find who attended with you so you can connect with them. If you missed an event, you can ask an attendee questions about it.
  • Twitter users. Find alumni that are on Twitter and go follow them.

If you find something that is wrong, have a suggestion, hate something, want something, not sure if something is supposed to be like it is, etc., please please please let us know:

  • Leave a comment on this post
  • Contact Kirk: via user page or
  • If you're feeling adventurous, submit a work ticket with a specific suggestion. (This is usually hidden from non-admins, but as a special one-time offer to our alpha users, you can boss the admin around. Admin reserves the privilege to not pretend that the customer is always right ;-) )

Be honest, i.e., critical and unrepentant. "This is nice" is great for my ego, but ineffective for the community. Fire away.

PS: The alumni features of the site won't be visible until an admin approves your account and sets your role to "alumni." That's a feature to keep any random person from registering and seeing your info.

ISU at the 25th National Space Symposium

At the 2009 National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs from March 31st - April 2, ISU and the Space Foundation co-hosted a "New Gen" reception, focused on attendees to the meeting who are 35 and under. With good food and drink to enjoy, the crowd of up-and-coming space professionals and leaders enjoyed the time to congregate together as a “force to be reckoned with” within the space industry, and also had the opportunity for conversation with ISU's President Michael Simpson and his wife, Carol, other ISU staff members, and multiple ISU alums.

Overall, ISU had a dramatically enhanced presence at this year’s National Space Symposium, from the New Generation Reception at the opening, right through to the Space Career Fair on the last day. ISU’s programs were on full display and drew good crowds both at booths in the Boeing Exhibit Center and the Space Career Fair Pavilion. In particular, there was quite a ‘buzz” about ISU’s brand new Executive MBA. Notably, one of the two-week residency modules of this MBA program will be held in Colorado Springs beginning in March 2010, in collaboration with the Space Foundation.

NASA Watch Highlights SSP2007 Space Traffic Management TP

With all the recent talk about space traffic management, space debris, and protecting the space environment, the SSP2007 Team Project is very timely! See the post here.

Yuri's Night 2009 - San Francisco

On April 9th, the California Academy of Science played host to the San Francisco Yuri's Night 2009 Party!  Amongst the over 3500 guests there that night were multiple ISU alums from the Bay area and across the nation - including Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides, Robbie Schingler, Alex McDonald, Yuki Takahashi, and MANY more!  Buzz Aldrin made a surprise appearance, NASA Ames Center Director Pete Worden made remarks, and Astronaut Steve Robinson mingled with the crowd.  NASA will be hosting Yuri's Night again next year  and the Academy has asked to host so they can show off their newly remolded ECO building.

Did you or other ISU alums go to a Yuri's Night Party this year?  Send us pictures and info and we will share on the Facebook group!

March 12th Board Meeting

The ISU*USA board met on Thursday, March 12 at the offices of the Aerospace Industries Association in Rosslyn, Virginia. Board members Kirk Kittell, Daphne Dador, Dave Treat, and Ashley Whelan were present, as were several alumni from the Washington, DC area. ISU North America was represented by Steve Brody and Sue Rolnick. The meeting lasted two hours with a lot of great discussion amongst the board, alumni, and ISU on a variety of topics. Minutes from this meeting have been posted to the ISU*USA website (go to and click "Archives" in the top menu bar).

Immediately following the board meeting, the board members and alumni headed down the road to Clarendon Grill for an ISU social. The fifth ISU*USA board member, Shandy, was able to attend, as were several additional Washington area alumni. One notable attendee was ISU co-founder Bob Richards! Everyone had an enjoyable time eating, drinking, and catching up on what's new with old and new friends, as well as discussing the state of the space industry and what the future might hold.

ISU*USA board meetings will be available via telecon if you cannot attend in person. So stay tuned for notices of future ISU*USA board meetings and upcoming social events in your area!


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