Lift-off for Former NASA Trainer
Published on 13 July 2015
Originally from California, University of Dundee graduate Deidra Baker (55) has taken up the role of Fundraising and Projects Manager.
Prior to her Science Centre appointment, Deidra was Development Manager at the University of Dundee where she graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary European Politics and Policies in 2006.
Deirdra has also worked at both the Universities of Dundee and St Andrews as a Major Gifts Officer, working on diverse projects such as the new Medical School at Ninewells Hospital, and the renovation of the St Andrews Observatory.
Prior to arriving in Dundee 13 years ago, Deidra worked with NASA for 15 years in communications and astronaut training, including three years in Russia supporting Phase 1 of the International Space Station, specifically preparing onboard video and digital training products for astronauts.
Deidra commented, “My time at NASA was amazing and exciting, with a broad range of roles from working in public outreach with schools and museums to in-house training on the technology NASA was developing, aimed at astronauts who were heading off into orbit.”
At Dundee Science Centre, Deidra’s top priority is to achieve funding interest for the Centre’s £1.7M Capital Project, which will add a new floor of medical research exhibits, and improvements to the Science Learning Institute, helping science communicators engage more effectively with the general public. Deidra will also be responsible for raising funding for the ongoing rota of projects and public events – including, of huge interest to Deidra, a space exhibition planned for October – as well as introducing new partners and supporters.
Deidra explained, “My challenge is to raise funds through local trusts and businesses for the fantastic new expansion at Dundee Science Centre which will add a whole new dimension to our offering and appeal to a huge range of audiences. As well as being educational and fun, the new development will be a point of pride for the community, showcasing the breadth of medical technologies developed right here in Dundee. I’m excited about giving local businesses of all sizes, including small to medium enterprises, the chance to give back to their city in a range of ways, and will be out and about shortly, explaining how they might get involved.”
Dundee Science Centre is open daily from 10am-5pm. For further information, please telephone 01382 228800 or visit www.dundeesciencecentre.org.uk.