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1200 S. Jay St.
Aberdeen, S.D. 57401
Phone: 605-626-2552
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​NSU grad to be awarded Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal by IAF

ABERDEEN, S.D. – Northern State University alumnus Bryan J. DeBates has been named the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF).

DeBates, a 1993 NSU graduate, is now director of education for the Space Foundation in Colorado Springs, Colo. He administers the development and implementation of the Space Foundation's education programs that support space-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S-STEM) education.

Established in 1986, the Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal was first presented posthumously to Sharon Christa McAuliffe, first NASA Teacher in Space. Since then, this international award has been presented to outstanding educators who have demonstrated excellence in promoting the study of astronautics and related space sciences. Based in Paris, the IAF was founded in 1951 to foster dialogue between scientists around the world and support international cooperation in all space-related activities.

The medal will be presented to DeBates this fall at the IAF’s 65th International Astronautical Congress in Toronto. The award presentation will take place during the closing ceremony on Oct. 3, and DeBates will deliver a keynote presentation on Sept. 29 on the subject of primary education.

A native of Lake Benton, Minn., DeBates graduated from Northern with an elementary education degree. He then taught and coached in Ipswich from 1993 to 1997. DeBates received a master’s degree in education from Regis University, Denver, in 2006, the same year he joined the Space Foundation. He is a previous recipient of Time Warner Cable's National Crystal Apple Award, the Air Force Association's Alamo Chapter Teacher of the Year and the Christa McAuliffe Memorial Award.
 His wife, Jennifer (Marshall) DeBates, is a 1990 graduate of Aberdeen Central; and his mother-in-law, Gail Marshall, continues to live in Aberdeen.
Founded in 1983, the Space Foundation is the foremost advocate for all sectors of space, and is a global, nonprofit leader in space awareness activities, educational programs and major industry events. To learn more, visit