Logical Innovations, Inc. Employee Ivanna Tolley Participates in Study Abroad Trip to Oman

Logical Innovations Corporate Office employee Ivanna Tolley, who is currently a senior at the University of Houston – Clear Lake (UHCL), recently had the unique opportunity to participate in a 10-day Study Abroad trip to Oman.

Oman is an Arab country located on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula surrounded by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.  This is the second trip UHCL students have taken to this country for their Study Abroad Program.

A Study Abroad trip had always been a dream of Tolley’s; however, due to costs, it never seemed attainable.  While in class this October, Tolley’s professor once again brought up the trip, and she felt a strong urge to attempt participating.  With help from her family along with working extra hours babysitting and fundraising by selling candy and T-shirts, she raised enough money to go.  With the money raised, Tolley was off on her once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“The worst part of the trip were the flights there and back,” recalled Tolley.  “It was 16 hours from Houston to Dubai and then another 1.5 hours from Dubai to Muscat, the capital of Oman.”

To prepare for the trip, Tolley did a lot of research before leaving.  “I absolutely fell in love,” said Tolley.  “There are many misconceptions about the Middle East.  Oman is a Middle Eastern country that many people have not heard of.  Oman is often regarded as ‘the unicorn’ of the Middle East because it is very unique in its policies and culture. It is the fourth safest country in the entire world.”

The trip itself was to give the students a chance to study Middle Eastern culture firsthand instead of learning through the news and other media, which “might not give a completely accurate representation,” Tolley stated.

“I want to work in diversity and ethics, so it is important for me to understand different people and their unique cultures.”

Experience the culture they did.  The students kept a very busy itinerary which packed three to four activities into each day.  “The things that stick out to me the most were our visits to Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat and Dhofar University in Dhofar, our visit to the Grand Mosque, our meeting with H.E., the Adviser to the Sultan on Cultural Affairs, and all of our dining experiences.”

Part of experiencing the culture was traveling to different locations to see different communities.  “We stayed in a different place every night:  a hotel in the capital, a hotel on the beach, a camp in the desert, a hotel in the mountains, and more.”

And as with all trips, there came the trying of the different locations’ foods.  “We were extremely well fed with traditional Omani foods, including goat and camel meat.  Our meal experiences were all very different, from dining with an Omani family in their home to eating at a fancy restaurant in the desert to having a picnic outside surrounded by wild camels.”

Tolley gained a newfound respect and admiration for Oman and its people.  “The people there are so caring and really value honor, integrity, and hospitality.  Everyone we met showered us with kindness and went above and beyond to make us feel welcomed.  After we dined with a family from a small village in the mountains, the husband/father of the family said to us, ‘this is your house now, too.”

Other activities Tolley experienced included visiting the National Museum, the Royal Grand Opera to see Sami Yusuf, the tomb of Omran (father of Mary), Al Baleed Archeological Site, the Frankincense Land Museum, Taqah Castle and Taqah Town, Sumharam Archeological Site, Babah Sinkhole, Wadi Tiwi, Sur Town, a nature preserve where they watched mother turtles lay and bury their eggs and baby turtles hatch, Al Kamil Private Castle Museum, Safari Desert Camp, visited and shopped Nizwa Fort and Souk, and they even rode camels to watch the sunset and sunrise.

It was a trip Tolley will never forget.  “I feel incredibly privileged to have been able to participate in this Study Abroad trip.  The entire experience was priceless, and I learned more than I ever thought I would.”

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2018 Air Force Contracting Summit in Miramar Beach, Florida

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This week I had the privilege of attending the 2018 Air Force Contracting Summit in Miramar Beach, Florida to advertise Logical Innovations, Inc.’s GSA STARS II schedule.

During the event, I manned an exhibitor table, which gave me the opportunity to talk to everyone interested in learning about Logical Innovations’ capabilities and contract locations.  People from a wide range of industries approached the table in order to hear what we did including medical companies, engineering companies, personnel services companies, and even weapons manufacturing companies.

Fortunately, our table was located inside the main ballroom, which allowed me to hear all of the speakers throughout the two-day event.  Speakers ranged from Air Force personnel, DoD Contracting Officers, prime contractors, small business experts, and even the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense.

Throughout the summit’s breaks and reception, I had the chance to talk to many interesting people from the Air Force as well as the contracting community.  During our lunch break on the first day of the summit, I was able to sit at a table full of retired Air Force personnel now working for contractors and hear their exciting stories which included experiences in the Middle East and Bosnia.

Of course the trip was not all work.  Day two of the summit ended at lunchtime, allowing me the chance to adventure about the town and sight see.  I went to the Baytowne Wharf located in the Miramar Beach/Sandestin area.  It was a very nice location full of shops, restaurants, games, and nightlife.  From there, I drove to the Destin Harborwalk, which is a nice boardwalk-type area full of more shops, restaurants, games, and nightlife complete with a view of the Destin Harbor where many yachts were docked.

I highly recommend attending these DoD contracting summits if only for the people and learning.  It was a wonderful experience.  I also highly recommend visiting the Miramar Beach/Destin area of Florida.  It offers many tourist attractions and beautiful waters and white sand beaches.

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-The Logical Blogger

Logical Innovations, Inc. Spotlight in the Fall 2017 NASA Small Business Update

The Fall 2017 NASA Small Business Update is available online at, https://osbp.nasa.gov/publications.html.  The publication has been forwarded to House and Senate Science Committee staff, and to The House Aerospace Caucus and to Members.  NASA OSBP has established this annual publication to demonstrate the impact of small businesses in their communities.  Logical Innovations is honored to be among the highlighted businesses.

-The Logical Blogger

James Webb Space Telescope Viewing at NASA, Johnson Space Center (JSC)

Yesterday JSC employees, contractors, and their families had the unique opportunity to view the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) before it departs the Center for the next step of its preparations.

The telescope, which launches late 2018, will be the most powerful space telescope in human history.  It will be launched to the second Lagrange point, or L2, orbiting the sun one million miles from the Earth.  The JWST will view faint infrared light through the cosmos, which will be like looking back in time due to the nature of how long it takes light to travel.  This will help astronomers and scientists study the beginnings of the universe.

Thousands lined up to see the exciting next step in astronomy.  There was even an appearance by the Mars Rover as the crowd waited eagerly.

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JWST

-The Logical Blogger

Logical Innovations, Inc. President/CEO Denise Navarro Attends Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Industry Assistance Office Open House

KSC Industry Assistance Office Open House

Logical Innovations President and CEO Denise Navarro enjoyed attending the KSC Industry Assistance Office’s Open House on 11/30/2017 during her visit to the site.

Pictured above is:

Wendy Miller, Apache-Logical
Joyce C. McDowell, KSC Small Business Specialist
Laura B. Rochester, KSC Deputy Director, Procurement Office
Mike McCarty, KSC Director, Procurement Office
Natalie Colvin, KSC Small Business Support
Tammy Long, Apache-Logical

-The Logical Blogger

Logical Innovations, Inc. Employee Tiffany Fairley to Receive the Silver Snoopy Award

Tiffany Fairley

Logical Innovations employee Tiffany Fairley was notified this week that she will be the recipient of the prestigious Silver Snoopy award.

The Silver Snoopy best symbolizes the intent and spirit of Space Flight Awareness.  An astronaut always presents the Silver Snoopy because it is the astronauts’ own award for outstanding performance, contribution to flight safety, and mission success.  Fewer than one percent of the aerospace program workforce receive it annually, making it an incredibly special honor.

Silver Snoopy

Fairley works hard to support special events and tours for the Kennedy Space Center Institutional Support Services (KISS) IV contract.  Her citation reads: “For outstanding support and coordination of official tours that make an impact on guests by sharing the successes of NASA and Human Space Flight.”

We are so very proud of Tiffany and the wonderfully exceptional support she provides on KISS IV!  Congratulations!

-The Logical Blogger