Educational Outreach

In addition to supporting both active research and full scale production for the NASA Space Launch System Program, NCAM has a strong educational role sponsoring STEM Outreach initiatives, Workforce Development programs and the introduction of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies and Processes into academic curriculums.


Karen Thomas, Ph.D, Associate Dean of STEM Outreach, Recruitment, and Retention

Karen Thomas joined the College of Sciences at the University of New Orleans (UNO) in March 2014. In her new role as Associate Dean of STEM Outreach, Recruitment, and Retention, Thomas will collaborate with the National Center for Advanced Manufacturing (NCAM) on developing and implementing educational outreach initiatives.

Prior to her appointment at UNO, Thomas worked with the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at the University of California Davis where she was responsible for the development of multidisciplinary and collaborative grant proposals involving a diverse range of partners and managed research initiative, including the stakeholder-driven California Nitrogen Assessment. Prior to moving to California, Thomas was a Senior Advisor for the Ontario government in Canada where she led policy analysis and worked with industry and public partners on program implementation for the Ministry of the Environment.

Thomas received a Bachelor of Arts and Science in 1995, a Masters of Public Policy and Administration in 1996, and a doctorate in Comparative Public Policy in 2004 from McMaster University. Karen and her husband Elliott reside in Metairie, Louisiana with their two cats and daughter, Mackenzie.