Laurel Ridge Instructor Attends STEM Workshop at NASA Wallops Flight Facility

For Immediate Release:
June 18, 2015

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134

NASA Photo (7)

Mohamad Riasati, Instructor of Mathematics at Laurel Ridge Community College’s (Laurel Ridge) Fauquier Campus, recently attended a professional development workshop for community college faculty in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) disciplines at NASA Wallops Flight Facility. The two-day workshop (June 3-5) from the STEM Takes Flight initiative focused on the integration of STEM in the NASA workplace with the purpose of assisting faculty in educating students on the importance of teamwork, technical skills, and problem solving.

Besides touring the center, participants experienced a hands-on case study in trouble shooting, real-time decision making, and teamwork. Riasati participated in an Antares mission simulation.  This involved five college professors working with NASA mentors: Range Safety Officer (RSO), M&O (Mission and Operations), Test Director (TD), Radar Coordinator (RC) and Surveillance Coordinator (SC). Riasati’s role in the simulation was overseeing Mission and Operations (M&O). “I was responsible for resolving smooth operation of telemetry, optical communication, data quality, and leading troubleshooting of any anomalies relating to range assets and services and providing information to the test director,”said Riasati.

STEM Takes Flight at Virginia’s Community Colleges is an initiative that provides mentored scholarships, paid industry internships, NASA research experiences, and new courses to foster STEM career awareness and workplace skills.  It was developed through the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC).  The VSGC is a coalition of the Virginia Community College System, five Virginia colleges and universities, NASA, state educational agencies, and other institutions representing diverse STEM and aerospace education, research, and workforce development interests. For more details about the program visit the website at

NASA Photo (7)

(Pictured is Mohamad Riasati at NASA Wallops Flight Facility)


Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

Laurel Ridge Community College (Laurel Ridge) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College. Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.