Member Spotlight

Suzan Voss

VossLongtime Dean’s Leadership Council Member Suzan Voss, mathematics ’71, has worked at NASA for more than 25 years. She is currently a technical manager for NASA’s International Space Station Program, serving as manager for the Visiting Vehicle Mission Integration and Operations Office at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Previously, Voss served in Russia at the Moscow Technical Liaison Office where she coordinated, facilitated and integrated the work between the Russian and American teams for International Space Station activities.

“The job that I enjoyed the most and felt extremely lucky and proud to be a part of was management of the hardware, software, vehicle integration and launch of the U.S. Laboratory Module to the International Space Station,” said Voss. “The U.S. Laboratory Module, called ‘Destiny,’ is the core module, hosting science platforms and controlling systems of the International Space Station.”

Voss said that each of the job positions she has held during her career have provided a learning experience for her.

Voss“One of the first jobs in my career was teaching soldiers mathematics in a GED class in Germany when my husband and I were stationed there,” said Voss, whose husband was serving as an Infantry officer at the time.  “I learned what a rewarding experience it was to provide these soldiers an opportunity to move forward in their education.”

Assisting others in achieving their career and educational goals is an effort that Voss continues today and is one of the reasons she joined the Dean’s Leadership Council.

“I believe that at a certain point in one’s career, you need to take time to remember those that helped you achieve some of your goals. I wanted to find ways to support current students to reach their goals and to support the academic departments,” said Voss. “I did not do anything with Auburn for more than 20 years after graduation but am happy that I started reconnecting with the university after returning from Russia in the late 90s.”

According to Voss, it was former Auburn president William Muse who first encouraged her and her husband, former astronaut Jim Voss, aerospace engineering ’72, to reengage with the university.

“Everyone has different ways to contribute. I would say that I am persistent and do not mind asking questions to achieve a goal,” said Voss. “Two focus areas that are important to me are increasing endowments in COSAM and encouraging people to help find students internships within their company or business. I have also helped a couple of COSAM students come to NASA Johnson Space Center for summer internships, but I want to do more.”

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics, where Voss received her undergraduate education, is an area of particular interest for her.

Voss“I sponsor a COSAM scholarship for mathematics majors and my husband sponsors an aerospace engineering scholarship,” said Voss. “We both have additional Auburn endowments in our wills.”

As a member of the Dean’s Leadership Council, Voss recognizes the importance of maintaining excellence in COSAM.

“COSAM must serve a dual role for the university by providing the core math and sciences classes as well as providing a strong degree program spanning all math and science disciplines. COSAM has traditionally done both well,” said Voss. “I believe Auburn University, as well as COSAM, have a strong tradition of excellence in undergraduate education. In more recent years, the biological sciences have strengthened their program resulting in a significant number of their graduates being accepted to medical and professional schools.”

In addition to an undergraduate degree from COSAM, Voss received a master’s in business administration from Boston University and a doctorate in Industrial Engineering from the University of Houston. A Birmingham, Ala., native, she and her husband, Jim, have one adult daughter, Kristie Voss. In her spare time, Voss enjoys hiking and skiing.

The Dean’s Leadership Council is a network of alumni and friends who believe in enhancing and promoting the mission of COSAM. The lives of these exemplary volunteers epitomize the characteristics found in Auburn men and women around the world.

Members of the Dean's Leadership Council carry forth the banner of the university by providing visibility and service to the educational mission of COSAM. For more information, visit the website.