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NASA Recognizes Former Student’s Support of Underrepresented Groups

NASA Recognizes Former Student’s Support of Underrepresented Groups
May 17, 2024 Ruben Hidalgo

NASA Recognizes Former Student’s Support of Underrepresented Groups


Dr. Austin Mardon ’90, a graduate of our M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction program, has been honored with NASA’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Medal. The longtime author and researcher was among only four selected for the prestigious award, recognizing his dedication to mental health and disability issues while promoting science and space exploration.

As president and founder of the Antarctic Institute of Canada, Mardon led numerous internship programs addressing issues impacting NASA while employing hundreds of students, including many from diverse and marginalized communities. He has also participated in multiple NASA-associated activities throughout his career, leading to the discovery of over 700 meteorites.

One expedition Mardon took to Antarctica in 1986 led him to suffer physical and mental issues. Despite those challenges, he continued his research and helped ensure the work of students would also see the light of day. “Before and during COVID-19, hundreds, if not thousands of students from around the world stepped up to the plate with me and produced a rich body of scholarly work that was published,” said Mardon, adding he welcomes working with more young research volunteers worldwide, including the United States.

Mardon continues his work with the Antarctic Institute of Canada and serves as an Associate Adjunct Professor in the University of Alberta’s Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre.

For media inquiries, contact Ruben Hidalgo.

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