Leland Melvin - February 2022

Astronaut Leland Melvin

As a highlight of our 2022 Engineers Week celebrations, the School of Engineering invited Leland Melvin to deliver a keynote lecture and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Colloquium. Leland is an engineer, educator, former NFL wide receiver, and a retired NASA astronaut.

A special thank you to Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life for being a participating sponsor.

About Leland Melvin

Leland Melvin served on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist on mission STS-122 in 2008 and STS-129 in 2009, helping to construct the International Space Station. Upon hanging up his space boots, he led NASA Education and co-chaired the White House’s Federal Coordination in STEAM Education Task Force, developing the nation’s five-year STEM education plan. 

After 24 years with NASA as a researcher, astronaut, and Senior Executive Service leader, Leland now shares his life story as an athlete, astronaut, scientist, engineer, photographer, and musician to help inspire the next generation of explorers to pursue STEAM careers. In May 2017, Leland released his memoir, Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances. In Chasing Space, Leland shares his personal journey from the gridiron to the stars, and examines the intersecting roles of community, perseverance, and grace that align to create the opportunities for success.