WASHINGTON — The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced it will award the Distinguished Public Service Medal, its highest honor, to astronomer Yervant Terzian, the Cornell Tisch Distinguished Professor Emeritus. The medal will be presented by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston on August 2. The ceremony will be broadcast live at noon EDT on NASA TV.
“Dr. Yervant Terzian has dedicated his life to education, public service and scientific research,” according to NASA in its award citation. “He has used his enthusiasm for space exploration and education to bring inspirational experiences to students and the general public across the country.”
NASA continued: “Dr. Yervant Terzian has made an indelible impact on education and inspiring young minds. … He has evoked comprehension and wonder in his students and in his public audiences. These accomplishments and his eminent humanity prove Dr. Terzian worthy of this Distinguished Public Service Medal.”
Terry Herter, chair and professor of astronomy, agrees. “Dr. Terzian has been a relentless, eloquent ambassador for the sciences over his entire career, reaching and influencing undergraduates, graduate students, colleagues and the general public. This is a very well-deserved award.”
Terzian has served on eight NASA committees, including the Hubble Space Telescope Fellowship Committee, NASA’s Diversity in Science Education and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Radio Astronomy Evaluation Committee. For 20 years, Terzian directed the NASA New York Space Grant Consortium, comprising 19 universities and five industries and science centers. In 2012, the 52 state NASA Space Grant directors elected Terzian chairman.
“The Space Grant has been very successful in implementing space programs for the brightest students across New York state to provide them with opportunities to develop their interest in space,” said Terzian. “This is what will keep the United States as the leader.”