Distinguished Educator in Residence, Boise State University, Former NASA Astronaut and Backup Teacher in Space
Barbara Morgan, an elementary school teacher in McCall, Idaho was selected to serve as back-up to Teacher in Space Christa McAuliffe in 1985, and trained with the crew of the space shuttle Challenger.
After the Challenger accident, Morgan returned to the classroom and continued working for NASA’s education division until 1998, when she was selected as an astronaut (the first educator to become an astronaut). In August 2007, she served on the crew of mission STS-118 and flew on the space shuttle Endeavour to help construct the International Space Station. Now a Distinguished Educator in Residence, Ms. Morgan joined Boise State University in 2008 after a 10-year career as a NASA Astronaut and 24 years as a public school teacher. Barbara has taught in McCall, Idaho, in Quito, Ecuador, and on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana. As a member of Boise State’s Division of Research and Economic Development, Morgan represents the university and provides vision and leadership to the State of Idaho, primarily in STEM education. Her work includes policy and program development, advocacy, and mentoring. She uses her experience as a classroom teacher and NASA astronaut to initiate and cultivate University and K-12 opportunities, locally and nationally.