CSU's Coca-Cola Space Science Center Celebrates National Award and NASA Community Day Partners

Three staff members at Columbus State University's Coca Cola Space Science Center recently received NASA's prestigious Group Achievement Award for their work on the Kennedy Space Center's first ever off-site NASA Community Day. CCSSC hosted a reception Tuesday to celebrate the award and honor all community members involved in the project.

"The Columbus community really pulled together to make the Kennedy Space Center's first ever off-site NASA Community Day a success. Now those efforts are being recognized at the highest level," said Wanja Ngugi, Assistant Director of the CCSSC. "This award is a testament to all who worked on the project, and we would like to take the time to recognize those who made it possible."

Ngugi was one of the award recipients, along with CCSSC Executive Director Shawn Cruzen, and Michael Johnson, CCSSC Coordinator of Student Engagement & Community Programs. In 2018, Johnson won a CSU's President's Staff Excellence Award for his work on NASA Community Day.

NASA's Group Achievement Award is given to government and/or nongovernment individuals for an outstanding group accomplishment that contributed substantially to NASA's mission. Signed by NASA's Administrator Jim Bridenstine, the certificate recognizes the "superb teamwork in the innovative approach, efficient planning, and successful executive" of NASA Community Day.

Hosted in 2017, the event - themed "Columbus Goes to Mars" - included a weekend of NASA activities at three different venues, a screening of the movie Hidden Figures at the National Infantry Museum and classroom visits at local schools by Kennedy Space Center staff. The Columbus Visitors Bureau, Columbus Museum, the National Infantry Museum, and the Muscogee County School District were all key partners involved in the event.