Honors and Awards Gallery
Below is a list of honors and awards received throughout my professional career. These include both individual awards and most recently, several national awards for the NSTA Learning Center and the e-Professional Development resources within it.

2011 Outstanding Student
Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University
Instructional Design and Technology, School of Education
College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
(graduated with Ph.D. Nov 2010)


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NASA National Group Achievement Award
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
John H. Glenn Research Center
Cleveland, OH 2010

Dear Dr. Byers

On behalf of the NASA Glenn Research Center, I would like to thank you for your support of the NASA Explorer Schools (NES) Project...This Award is reserved for an outstanding accomplishment through the coordination of many individual efforts which have contributed substantially to NASA's Mission...Your commitment to providing high quality educational opportunities to students and teachers across the country is commendable. NES continues to serve as a model for innovative science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. We appreciate your passion, dedication and hard work, and look forward to working with you in the future.

Michael J. Foreman
Chief, External Programs Division
NASA Glenn Research Center


FDA Award Cerimony logo

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), 2008 Annual Honor Awards
Food and Drug Administration Leveraging/Collaboration Award

Presented by Dr. Stephen Sundlof, D.V.M., Ph.D., Director of CFSAN, to Al Byers and members of The Science Teacher Program in Food Science Group. Office of Food Defense, Communication, and Emergency Response. For improving public health through the development of food safety and nutrition education programs for science teachers and students. Certificate presented at ceremony.

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Training Technology in Action Awardó2007 Learning Content Management Project of the Year: The NSTA Learning Center
Training Magazine, 2007

The awards are the first time these have been offered by Training Magazine and the judges included an esteemed panel, several of which are listed below:

  • Jay Cross, chief scientist, Internet Time Group
  • Margaret Driscoll, learning and development consultant, IBM Business Consulting Services
  • Charles Jennings, global head of learning, Reuters, UK
  • Michael McGinnis, training manager, Bose Corporation
  • Bryan Chapman, chief learning strategist, Chapman Alliance LLC
  • Sonya Calooy, senior learning design professional, Shell Learning
  • Andy Gibbons, author, "Computer-Based Instruction: Design and Development," chair, Department of Instructional Psychology and Technology, BYU

Our selection for the Learning Content Management Project of the Year was one category, which NSTA now holds company with other first time awardees such as Price Waterhouse Coopers, Peace Corps, Sun Microsystems, and Cisco Systems.
URL: Technology in Action Awards


Bersin & Associates 2007 Learning Leaders Award

2007 Learning Leader: Organizational Management Excellence for the NSTA Learning Center
Bersin & Associates, 2007

The Bersin & Associates Learning Leaders Program is a research-driven program designed to recognize innovation and excellence in critical areas of corporate training. Bersin & Associates recognizes up to 18 organizations that have developed and implemented unique and innovative approaches to learning and development resulting in significant business improvement.

Prior 2006 winners include General Motors, MetLife, Symantec Corporation, and Alcatel-Lucent to name a few. The NSTA Learning Center e-Learning portal received the distinction as one of the 2007 award recipients for Organizational Management Excellence.

URL: Bersin & Associates Learning Leaders Program
Feature Article: ELearning Magazine Learning Leader Article

NASA National GSRP Scholarship Recipient
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Langley Research Center
Hampton, VA, 1998-2002

NASA awards 120 scholarships each year for this national scholarship program. The education office at NASA Langley awarded me the opportunity to work on my Ph.D. in instructional technology at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. I have completed all courses and residency requirements with a 4.0 GPA in all courses taken.


"The Best Instructional Technology Graduate Student Multimedia Archive"
Eight university consortium. Virginia Tech, 2000.

Honored with this distinction for creating an interactive web site for the NASA Connect education program. The site was a project created as part of my Ph.D. graduate work while learning Macromedia Director and was created with two other individuals. This project was selected by the Virginia Tech instructional technology faculty for inclusion in this archive. You may preview the site if desired.


NASA National Group Achievement Award
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD, June 1997

On June 20th 1997, it was my pleasure to present the 1997 NASA Group Achievement Award to your team "In recognition of your engineering and technical excellence in the conceptualization, development, and implementation of the first Space Experiment Module carrier system."

....You are to be commended not only for your individual efforts, but also as a member of this most impressive team, whose accomplishments have contributed significantly to the mission of Goddard and NASA.

Dr. Joseph H. Rothenberg


NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Educator Certificate of Recognition
Greenbelt, Maryland, February 1997

In recognition of your special effort to share with your students the excitement of NASA's Achievements in engineering, technology, space and Earth science.

Dr. Joseph H. Rothenberg
Director, Goddard Space Flight Center


Connecticut Science Supervisors Association
Certification of Special Recognition

Hartford, CT, 1997

Presented at the Annual Awards Banquet of the Connecticut Science Supervisors Association.

This certificate is presented in special recognition to Al Byers and NASA for providing outstanding and distinguished service to the students of Connecticut and its Science Educators by the Connecticut Science Supervisors Association this 13th day of March 1997.

David Lopath
Connecticut Science Supervisors Association


Robious Middle School Teacher of the Year
Chesterfield County Public Schools
Richmond, Virginia, 1993-1994

Awarded this honor by my peers at Robious Middle in Chesterfield County in my third year of teaching physical science at the sixth and eighth grade levels.


National Science Foundation
National Educator Grant Award Recipient

Lawrence Hall of Science and the University of California, Berkeley
Astronomy and Space Science Educator Training Program,
Berkeley, CA, 1994

Selected through a peer-review process that afforded me the opportunity to spend three weeks in Berkeley, CA learning astronomical concepts and classroom activities from leading astronomers and education specialists. Spent time at several observatories, such as the Lick Observatory in Santa Cruz, CA.


Governor's School for the Gifted Educator
Richmond Mathematics and Science Center
Richmond, Virginia, 1992-1993

Co-taught several courses for the Richmond Governor's School for the Gifted in Rocketry and 3-D Imaging using a Cray Supercomputer. The Governor's school courses were taught during the summer and I considered it an honor and privilege to work with some of the best and brightest students in the Central Virginia area. I was also fortunate in 1994 during my master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction to conduct a practicum with the Science Supervisor for Chesterfield County, Virginia. During this experience I served on the Virginia Governor's School site selection advisory committee.