Authors: David Perez
Press Release:
April 2021

ARCS brings together a Women in STEAHM Panel discussion and special guest speaker, Director of NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, David D. McBride for Year Two Lift-Off Event 

(NORTHRIDGE, April 14, 2021) — The Autonomy Research Center for STEAHM (ARCS), a NASA-sponsored multidisciplinary research center at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), celebrated its Year Two Lift-Off during a virtual event on April 7, with special guest speaker David D. McBride, Director of NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center and an all-women panel to discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion in STEAHM. 

More than 125 attendees received a welcome announcement from CSUN President, Dr. Erika Beck, CSUN Provost, Dr. Mary Beth Walker, and Dr. Nhut Ho, Founder and Director of ARCS. “What an incredible year our faculty, partners and students we’ve had. What I never imagined is that a year later, ARCS would grow to be twice as big, expanding into four new sectors, autonomy literacy, law, social medicine and manufacturing, in turn placing students in remote internships with NASA JPL,” said Dr. Nhut Ho.  

CSUN Provost, Dr. May Beth Walker adds, “I’ve been more than impressed with the work that has happened at ARCS over this past year and applaud the deep importance of the multiplidiscinary work being done here.”

To celebrate the importance of diversity and inclusion in STEAHM, ARCS welcomed an all-women panel to speak on their experience and expertise in the workplace. The panel consisted of Ann Devereaux from JPL, Dr. Rebecca Gottlieb from Medtronic, Dr. Elena Miranda from CSUN and Devin Waller from the California Science Center. The panel shared inspirational moments and challenges they overcame throughout their journey. 

“The only real failure is when you put yourself in a box. There is always something you can do, both with technical problems and in life problems. It is really important in keeping that forward attitude and continuing to push on ,” said Ann Devereuax, Division Manager for Systems Engineering and I&T, NASA/JPL. 

The highlight of the evening came when ARCS students presented their research projects, developed in partnership with NASA, JPL, Medtronic, among other partners, to attendees in breakout rooms. These projects represent multiple interdisciplinary research areas within ARCS, from building communication systems for small unmanned aircraft systems to discovering solutions for diabetes comorbidities through improved social medicine. 

ARCS is dedicated to leading in convergence research, with a vision of becoming a global leader in education, research and commercialization of increasingly autonomous (IA) systems. 

For more information on ARCS, visit or email  

The Autonomy Research for STEAHM Center

The Autonomy Research Center for STEAHM (ARCS) is a NASA-sponsored, chartered, Center of Excellence. Their mission is to combine multidisciplinary, university-wide knowledge and talent from faculty, students, and NASA scientists to conduct convergence research and collaboration using increasingly autonomous systems (IA).