Barrios Presents 2nd Quarter BEAR Awards

Barrios Technology recently presented employees with Silver BEAR (Barrios Employee Award and Recognition) awards. Each recipient was commended for their high level of expertise and outstanding performance supporting Barrios’ contracts with NASA’s Human Space Flight Program. Employees recognized included Erin Anthony, Sierrah Baffa, Chris Brown, Nick DiStefano, Arden Lerbs, Tanya Lippincott, and the JSC Engineering, Technology and Science Contract (JETS) Cold Stowage Team - Chris Fleming, Garen Hartley, Adrian Nip, and Roman Ruiz.


Erin Anthony received a Silver BEAR Award for her continuous innovation and drive in Space Station Research social media. Anthony’s increased posting and engagement through our ISS Research Twitter account, and the integration across other social accounts led to a 148% increase in engagement on @ISS_Research Twitter after just her first year and grew another 25% during her second year. The account has now reached more than 1 million followers. Anthony is always evaluating current practices and looking at new audiences and increase visibility for ISS Research. She increased creation of ISS research stories content for the @ISS and @NASA Instagram accounts, and is one of the first adopters and champions of the Instagram Reels platform at NASA. A stunning 6 of 8 reels on the ISS Instagram are from ISS research, totaling 7.9 million views. Anthony also developed a new Social Media Toolkit, aimed at science social media influencers, to inspire their posting about new science launching on CRS missions. She worked closely with other team members to execute the package. NASA HQ social reps were so impressed with the project that they are using it as a best practices example for the agency.


Sierrah Baffa, Project Coordinator for Organizational Information Technology Management (OITM) on the Consolidated Program Support Services Project Coordination (CPSS PC) contract, received a Silver BEAR Award for her invaluable Information Technology (IT) expertise. She is recognized for providing solutions to problems and developing tools to streamline processes and communication. Baffa is responsible for Science and Technology Office’s (STO) IT assets, their distribution, disposition, compliance, and training. She also serves as the badging point of contact for the National Space Science Technology Center (NSSTC) and is the Records Liaison Officer (RLO) for the Science and Technology (ST) organization at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama. Baffa has been instrumental in keeping the NSSTC operational during the pandemic by ensuring all necessary processes are followed relative to badging and access to the facility. The NSSTC encompasses the University of Huntsville (USH), the National Weather Service North Alabama field office, and NASA. She worked tirelessly with the MSFC Security/Badging Office to streamline the badging process, ensuring over 200 badges were printed, activated, and distributed before expiring. These efforts were completed while in mandatory telework status.


The Gateway Configuration and Mass Properties (CAMMP) Team member Chris Brown was presented a Silver BEAR award for his dedication and outstanding work to the team. With growing work and responsibilities for CAMMP on Gateway, Brown has proven himself as an instrumental team player. His technical fluency has allowed him to perform some extremely impactful analyses for Gateway including key line-of-sight and solar array shadowing assessments. Brown is an invaluable member of the Vehicle Configuration team, having supported ISS, and now Gateway. He consistently delivered high-quality work as a MAGIK analyst and learned the ropes of Gateway CAMMP work swiftly. He exhibited great understanding of the modeling and mass property techniques of the team early on and has been instrumental in key deliveries to the Gateway Program. One area of the team’s work that Brown has led and exceled in is the Earth and lunar communication line-of-sight work, leveraging his orbital mechanics fluency from his graduate studies.


Nick DiStefano received a Silver BEAR Award for his dedication in supporting and maintaining the security posture within the Software Development and Integration Laboratory (SDIL) and the Systems IT team. DiStefano, during his vacation, supported a zero-day vulnerability threat. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an emergency directive to address a highly publicized Pulse Secure vulnerability. DiStefano provided prompt responses to texts messages concerning Pulse Secure and successfully scanned the software for vulnerabilities. He performed this task after normal business hours so that it would not impact formal testing. His support of this activity was critical in meeting the Department of Homeland Security implementation deadline and ensuring that SDIL IT security had not been compromised.


The NASA customer recognized DiStefano with an award for his level of commitment to ensure this vulnerability was mitigated and did not result in a stop work for SDIL. DiStefano understands his role is very visible and critical to the continued operations of SDIL when the Security Operations Center (SOC). He keeps abreast of the latest technology trends in his field and is very vocal in passing the knowledge forward and upward to management for consideration for implementation.


Arden Lerbs received a Silver BEAR Award for his instrumental work on the Real-Time Input/Output Platform (RTIOP) Project. The RTIOP is the input/output communication hardware on the MATE (MDM Application Test Environment), a simulation environment that mimics the Command and Data Handling system on the space station. He has been key in identifying numerous problems with the vendor’s software and working to resolve issues within our space station simulation software. His knowledge and tenacity have saved hundreds of hours to investigate and solve problems. Lerbs is currently the only engineer who knows the simulation systems well enough to be able to make the necessary updates in a timely manner. Lerbs had to develop an entirely new way to allow for scripts to update input data into the simulations. The hardware and software upgrades in the labs have changed the way memory is used. It has gone from physical memory on a single processor to virtual memory on multiple processors. Because of this upgrade, the way the scripting interface interacted with memory has completely changed. Lerbs has saved the team 6+ months of work on the RTIOP project with his knowledge and expertise with the systems and updates he has made to the simulations.


Tanya Lippincott received a Silver BEAR Award for her dedication and technical expertise to meet an aggressive 4-week delivery of Artemis II Crew Displays products required by the customer. Lockheed Martin and NASA adjusted the crew display development process resulting in an accelerated delivery schedule months earlier than originally planned. Lippincott provided technical expertise to help define the format and content of the accelerated documentation and coordinated and executed the delivery schedule. Her support to the new delivery schedule required after hours and weekend support to meet an aggressive timeline. Work of this magnitude and complexity was estimated to take six months in a normal business rhythm. Lippincott’s technical competence, flexibility, dedication, and strong schedule management skills resulted in the successful delivery of 56 crew display products to the Orion prime contractor. These deliverables provided the foundation for the final production of the Artemis II Crew display suite. They include complete As-Built documents for 10 hardcoded display formats, a set of 12 design files for each of 54 generic display formats, and 56 Display Format Intent Documents.


The JETS Cold Stowage (CS) Team, which includes Garen Hartley, Roman Ruiz, Adrian Nip, and Chris Fleming, received a Silver BEAR award for their continued excellence in providing support for the ISS Science activities in light of the additional challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The team provided CS launch and landing support on approximately 12 flights during the 2021 fiscal year, traveling as essential personnel to ensure staging, loading and sample returns were uninterrupted. The team provided real-time flight control, including helping to implement remote, from home, commanding reducing employee risk to COVID exposure and giving CS the ability to respond to off-nominal situations within 15 minutes versus one hour.


The customer commended the CS Operations Team on their work related to SpaceX Demo-2 return stating “the Cold Stowage Operations Team had the monumental task of pulling together Operational products for the first return of the vehicle with crew, it presented numerous challenges, including last minute coordination with flight operations and Space-X on the install and removal plans of Glacier and Polar due to vehicle limitations. Due to these last-minute changes, procedures had to be updated days before undocking was schedule to occur.”


The Barrios Employee Awards and Recognition or BEAR Award recognizes quality performance and outstanding support of customer and company goals. Up to one percent of the current number of employees can receive the Silver Award each quarter. Silver award winners automatically qualify for the annual Gold award which is presented at an annual awards and recognition reception.

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