Rayon Harris
AIAA Diversity Scholar

“If it were not for AIAA, I would not be in the position that I am in today. As a diversity scholar, I was sponsored to attend the AIAA AVIATION Forum where I met some Lockheed Martin executives. It was because of our shared passions that I got my foot in the door and was able to acquire my position at the Skunk Works.”




Curtis Barton
Aeronautical Flight Controls Engineer, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works
Attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach
Member Since 2017

“My grandfather was a mechanic on the SR-71, so working at Skunk Works® was always my dream. I didn’t have any luck getting hired by Lockheed Martin until my senior year. I went to Sci-Tech with my University, and there had the chance to speak at length with a hiring manager. By the end of the conference the manager had expressed interest in bringing me onboard, and a month later I was offered the job.”




AIAA Diversity Scholars

AIAA Diversity Scholars with AIAA President John Langford as they attended our annual AIAA SciTech Forum. This program provides opportunities for university students from underrepresented communities who have an interest in or are pursuing a degree in aerospace to attend AIAA forums. “The scholarship program served to reinvigorate a belief that I can still continue in my dream to be part of the space industry.” “This opportunity has solidified my choice of career. This opportunity gives me hope that I can graduate and go on to do things that people told me I could not. This opportunity has shown me that EVERYONE has a place in space.”




Higher Orbits

AIAA teams with Higher Orbits to bring students interested in space an exceptional hands-on experience through Go For Launch! Astronaut Mike Foreman served as a mentor to these students in grades 8–12, as they were introduced to leadership principles, teamwork, and problem-solving skills through this science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) program.

“This program renewed by passion for pursuing space as a career.”

“We are limited by what we are allowed to do in a classroom. This program opens mental doors. Without it, I would never have learned about microbiology at a level I wanted. I realize now what I am capable of.”




Educator, Northland Preparatory Academy
AIAA member since 2011

"As an educator, AIAA has been an amazing resource for professional development workshops and grants to enrich my classroom curriculum. My students have launched rockets hundreds of feet into the air and soldered circuit boards for the underwater remotely operated vehicles. My hope is to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, and AIAA helps me to provide those meaningful experiences in the classroom."




University of Maryland and 2017 Alexander R. Norris Space View Intern
AIAA member since 2015

"This internship opportunity has allowed me to promote aerospace engineering globally and connect with industry professionals—and to do so in my own creative voice. Being able to have a direct impact on the industry I fell in love with is an invaluable experience. "



Deborah Jackson

Emery Riddle Aeronautical University
AIAA David and Catherine Thompson Space Technology 2017 Scholarship Recipient

"I am honored and grateful for the investment of AIAA in my education. As a result, I am able to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering and a career in engineering research."





Bindi Nagda

Florida Institute of Technology
Vicki and George Muellner Scholarship 2017 Recipient

"I am honored and grateful for the investment of AIAA in my education. As a result, I am able to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering and a career in engineering research."





John J. Tracy

The Boeing Company (retired)
AIAA Member since 1985

"I give to help young people realize what they can accomplish in aerospace."






Oklahoma State University
2015 Recipient of the Dr. Amy R. Pritchett Digital Avionics Scholarship

"By awarding me the AIAA Dr. Amy R. Pritchett Digital Avionics Scholarship, I am able to concentrate on what is important to me, my education and future goals. Your financial generosity has allowed me to be one step closer to fulfilling my goals. I hope one day I will be able to help other students achieve their goals just as you are helping me!"




Samantha Magill

(formerly) Honda Aircraft Company; (currently) AIAA
AIAA member since 1993

"Generous investments in my education, such as my AIAA Foundation scholarship, were a huge support in making my ultimate goal an achievable reality. Being an active participant in AIAA throughout my college career has played an extremely significant part in defining my career. For the rest of my life, I will remember the value and role that AIAA has played in my growth and development as an engineering professional."





Managing Director, Band of Angels
AIAA Member since 1988

"The AIAA National Student Conference Awards are well regarded and I believe helped me get into the Ph.D. program at Stanford University. But even if I had not won, the self-motivation, organization, planning and execution that I practiced in doing the project on which my AIAA award was based have helped me succeed in life generally. Technical sufficiency is a given in all the projects that competed for the award, but public speaking, clarity of communication, and translation of a potentially esoteric technical subject into terms that a broader audience might find compelling are aspects of winning the award that have greatly helped me in later life. I am truly grateful for that experience."



Achille Messac

Dean, College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences Howard University

"I value its mission and AIAA has been instrumental in every aspect of my career advancements."







Steve Gorrell

Associate Professor, Brigham Young University
AIAA member since 2004

"I wanted to express my appreciation for the STEM K-12 micro-lessons you have made available to the AIAA membership via the AIAA Foundation. This morning I spent about 20 minutes teaching my son’s second grade class about space. I combined elements from micro-lessons 2, 3, and 8. The 2nd grade teacher had asked parents to volunteer to talk to the class about how we use math and science in our jobs. I eagerly volunteered and drew on the impressive micro-lessons your committee has developed. The children enjoyed the content and the videos that I shared from the micro-lessons. Keep up the great work."




University of Cincinnati
2015 Recipient of the Ellis F. Hitt Digital Avionics Scholarship

"I would like to express my gratitude for having been selected as a recipient of the AIAA Ellis F. Hitt Digital Avionics Scholarship for the 2015-2016 school year. As you are aware, the cost of a college education is quite significant and this generous award will serve as a relief on this financial burden."





Partner and Industry Relations, Intelligent Light
AIAA member since 2005

"It’s important for the aerospace industry to reach out directly to young students. It’s important for students to hear directly from those who never stop asking questions and looking for answers."





2014 Receipt of the George and Vicki Muellner Scholarship
AIAA member since 2011

"Generous investments in my education, such as this scholarship from the AIAA Foundation, are a huge support in making my ultimate goal an achievable reality. Being an active participant in AIAA throughout my college career has played an extremely significant part in defining my career. For the rest of my life, I will remember and value the role that AIAA has played in my growth and development as an engineer and a professional."





President and CEO Paragon Space Development Corporation
AIAA member since 1984

"I support early childhood education, as the next generation is the future of the aerospace industry."






Chief Experimental Engineer Rolls-Royce Corporation
AIAA member since 1979

"I want to support the next generation in the aerospace profession that has been my passion."






Vice President Sierra Lobo, Inc.
AIAA member since 1977

"AIAA has been a central part of my career development since 1977 and the AIAA Foundation activities can have positive impact on future and young AIAA members."





AIAA member since 2002

As a student I benefited from the experience of attending student conferences as well as being the recipient of an undergraduate and graduate scholarship. The knowledge and support I gained from AIAA was invaluable in my current job. As a professional, I like to give back to the foundation so up and coming students in K-12 and universities can have the same experience I had or better."



Erin Tesny

David and Catherine Thompson Scholarship 2016 Recipient
CSU AIAA student chapter president

"Erin Tesny is currently a senior at Cleveland State University studying Mechanical Engineering. She is an active member of CSU's student chapter of AIAA and currently serves as Chapter President. She is also a member of the Society of Women Engineers and the engineering honors society Tau Beta Pi. This past summer she held an internship at the NASA Glenn Research Center working on power systems for the International Space Station. After graduation she hopes to work full time for NASA in space power and propulsion."




Vicki and George Muellner Scholarship for Aerospace Engineering, 2016 Recipient
BYU AIAA student chapter president

"Andrew Orme is a Mechanical Engineering student at Brigham Young University where he enjoys designing and building RC airplanes in his free time. As chairman of the student branch of AIAA at BYU, he provides service and learning opportunities for students interested in aerospace at BYU and in the surrounding community. He currently works with graduate students conducting microstructure characterization research and focuses on a project aimed at increasing the use of magnesium in transportation applications. He appreciates the support and mentorship he's received from AIAA while pursuing his interests in aerospace."