AIAA Announces Section Awards Winners Written 29 July 2019

AIAA-Delaware-Section-2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Michele McDonald  
703.264.7542 
michelem@aiaa.org

Awards Honor Outstanding Section Programming in a Variety of Categories

July 29, 2019 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has announced its 2018–2019 Section Awards winners. The Section Awards honor particularly notable achievements made by member sections in a range of activities that help fulfill the Institute’s mission.

Section awards are given annually in five categories based on the size of each section’s membership. Each winning section receives a certificate and a cash award. The award period covered is 1 June 2018–31 May 2019. The Institute believes that vital, active sections are essential to its success.

The Outstanding Section Award is presented to sections based upon their overall activities and contributions through the year. The winners are:

  • Very Small: First Place: Delaware, David Fox and Breanne Sutton, section chairs; Second Place: Adelaide, Mark Ramsey and Saman Aghdam, section chairs; Third Place: Greater New Orleans, Glen Guzik, section chair

  • Small: First Place: Northwest Florida, Chi Mai, section chair; Second Place (tie): Sydney, Arnab Dasgupta, section chair; Second Place (tie): Palm Beach, Randy Parsley, section chair; Second Place (tie): Savannah, Miguel Amador, section chair

  • Medium: First Place, Tucson, Eric Hoffman-Watt, section chair; Second Place: Antelope Valley, Jason Lechniak, section chair; Third Place: Wichita, Vicki Johnson, section chair

  • Large: First Place: St. Louis, Thomas Rehmeier, section chair; Second Place: Northern Ohio, Peggy Cornell, section chair; Third Place: Orange County, Chase Schulze, section chair

  • Very Large: First Place: Hampton Roads, Patrick Shea, section chair; Second Place: Greater Huntsville, Alexander Jehle, section chair; Third Place: Los Angeles-Las Vegas, Robert Friend, section chair

The Career and Professional Development Award is presented for section activities that focus on career development, such as time management workshops, career transition workshops, job benefits workshops, and technical versus management career path workshops. The winners are:

  • Very Small: First Place, Adelaide, Sam Aghdam, section chair; Second Place: Delaware, Timothy McCardell, career and professional development officer

  • Small: First Place: Northwest Florida, Ryan Sherrill, career and professional development officer; Second Place: Savannah, Ricky Odey, career and professional development officer; Third Place: Sydney, Divya Jindal, career and professional development officer

  • Medium: First Place: Wichita, Vicki Johnson, section chair

  • Large: First Place: St. Louis, Robert Dowgwillo, programs officer

  • Very Large: First Place: Hampton Roads, Elizabeth Ward and Hyun Jung Kim, career and professional development officers; Second Place: Greater Huntsville, Greg Simpson, section vice chair, and Alexander Jehle, section chair; Third Place: Rocky Mountain, Rusty Powell, section chair

The Communications Award is presented to sections that have developed and implemented an outstanding communications outreach program. Winning criteria include level of complexity, timeliness, and variety of methods of communications, as well as frequency, format, and content of the communication outreach. The winners are:

  • Very Small: First Place: Delaware, Christina Larson, communications officer; Second Place: Adelaide, Steven Pietrobon, section secretary; Third Place: Greater New Orleans, Glen Guzik, section chair

  • Small: First Place: Northwest Florida, Daniel Bradley, communications officer; Second Place: Sydney, Arnab Dasgupta, section chair; Third Place: Long Island, David Paris, section chair

  • Medium: First Place: Antelope Valley, Patrick Clark, section secretary; Second Place: Wichita, Vicki Johnson, section chair; Third Place (tie): Carolina, John Blanton, section chair; Third Place (tie): Tucson, Eric Hoffman-Watt, section chair; Third Place (tie): Phoenix, Rick Kale, section chair

  • Large: First Place: Northern Ohio, Edmond Wong, communications officer; Second Place: St. Louis, Andrea Martinez, publicity officer; Third Place (Tie): Cape Canaveral, Jake Shriver, communications officer; Third Place (Tie): San Diego, Abigail Cruz, section secretary

  • Very Large: First Place: Hampton Roads, John Lin, newsletter editor; Second Place: Greater Huntsville, Alex Byers, communications officer; Third Place: Los Angeles-Las Vegas, Lisa Kaspin, communications officer

The Membership Award is presented to sections that have increased their membership by planning and implementing effective recruitment and retention campaigns. The winners are:

  • Very Small: First Place: Delaware, Christina Larson, membership officer; Second Place: Adelaide, Patrick Neumann, membership officer; Third Place: Greater New Orleans, Larry de Quay, membership officer
  • Small: First Place: Northwest Florida, Michael Kelton, membership officer; Second Place: Twin Cities, Kristen Gerzina, section chair; Third Place: Sydney, Binod Aryal, membership officer

  • Medium: First Place: Tucson, Rajka Corder, membership officer; Second Place: Wichita, Dustin Tireman, membership officer; Third Place, Antelope Valley, Chris Coyne, membership officer

  • Large: First Place: St. Louis, Nic Moffitt, membership officer; Second Place: San Diego, Joel Perez, membership officer; Third Place (tie): Atlanta, Aaron Harcrow, section chair; Third Place (tie): Orange County, Robert Welge, membership officer

  • Very Large: First Place: Hampton Roads, Marlyn Andino, membership officer; Second Place: Los Angeles-Las Vegas, Chandrashekhar Sonwane, membership officer; Third Place: Greater Huntsville, Theresa Jehle, membership officer

The Public Policy Award is presented for stimulating public awareness of the needs of aerospace research and development, particularly on the part of government representatives, and for education section members about the value of public policy activities. The winners are:

  • Very Small: First Place: Delaware, Tim Dominick, public policy officer; Second Place: Greater New Orleans, Glen Guzik, section chair; Third Place, Adelaide, Sam Aghdam, section chair

  • Small: First Place: Savannah, Scott Perry, public policy officer; Second Place: Palm Beach, Kevin Simmons, public policy officer; Third Place: Twin Cities, Cristin Finnigan, public policy officer

  • Medium: First Place: Tucson, Bradley Williams, public policy officer; Second Place: Antelope Valley, Patrick Clark, public policy officer; Third Place: Wichita, Vicki Johnson, section chair

  • Large: First Place: Northern Ohio, Victor Canacci, public policy officer; Second Place: Orange County, Kamal Shweyk, public policy officer; Third Place: Atlanta, Bob Greene, programs officer

  • Very Large: First Place: Greater Huntsville, Chris Crumbly, public policy officer; Second Place: Los Angeles-Las Vegas, Alan Shinkman, public policy officer; Third Place: Dayton/Cincinnati, Oliver Leembruggen, public policy officer

The STEM K–12 Award is presented to sections that have developed and implemented an outstanding STEM K–12 outreach program that provides quality education resources for K–12 teachers in the STEM subject areas. The winners are:

  • Very Small: First Place: Delaware, Elishabet Lato, STEM K–12 outreach officer; Second Place: Wisconsin, Todd Treichel, STEM K-12 outreach officer

  • Small: First Place: Palm Beach, Shawna Christenson, STEM K–12 outreach officer, and Kevin Simmons, public policy officer; Second Place: Northwest Florida, Judith Sherrill, STEM K-12 outreach officer; Third Place: Savannah, Alessandra Carno, STEM K–12 outreach officer

  • Medium: First place: Tucson, Elishka Jepson and Allie Kunkel, STEM K–12 outreach officers; Second Place: Wichita, Minisa Childers, STEM K–12 outreach officer; Third Place: Antelope Valley, Jason Lechniak, section chair

  • Large: First Place: Orange County, Janet Koepke, STEM K–12 outreach officer; Second Place: St. Louis, Jackie Blumer, STEM K–12 outreach officer; Third Place: Northern Ohio, Jonathan Krantz and Julie Kleinhenz, STEM K–12 outreach officers

  • Very Large: First Place: Hampton Roads, Karen Berger and Amanda Chou, STEM K-12 outreach officers; Second Place: Rocky Mountain, Jim Paradise, STEM K-12 outreach officer; Third Place: Greater Huntsville, Ragini Acharya, STEM K-12 outreach officer

The Section-Student Branch Partnership Award recognizes the most effective and innovative collaboration between the professional section members and student branch members.

  • Very Small: First Place: Central Pennsylvania, Puneet Singla, section chair; Second Place Adelaide, Zoe Rich, student branch liaison; Third Place: Delaware, Kyle Panariello, student branch liaison

  • Small: First Place: Northwest Florida, John Fay, section vice-chair; Second Place: Palm Beach, Kevin Simmons, public policy officer, and Shawna Christenson, STEM K-12 outreach officer; Third Place: Sydney, Nimesh Shete, education officer

  • Medium: First Place: Wichita, Vicki Johnson, section chair; Second Place; Antelope Valley, Jason Lechniak, section chair; Third Place: Tucson, Eric Hoffman-Watt, section chair

  • Large: First Place: St. Louis, Charles Svoboda, education officer; Second Place, Northern Ohio, Peggy Cornell, section chair; Third Place, Atlanta, Aaron Harcrow, section chair

  • Very Large: First Place, Greater Huntsville, Brittani Searcy, university relations officer; Second Place: Los Angeles-Las Vegas, Matt Mundy, STEM K-12 outreach officers; Third Place: Hampton Roads, Manuel Diaz (National Institute of Aerospace), Forrest Miller (Old Dominion University), and Julie Deutsch (Virginia Tech), student branch liaisons

The Young Professional Activity Award is presented for excellence in planning and executing events that encourage the participation of the Institute’s young professional members, and provide opportunities for leadership at the section, regional, or national level. The winners are:

  • Very Small: First Place: Delaware, Daniel Nice and Katie Barbour, young professional officers; Second Place: Adelaide, Shane Farrelly, young professional officer

  • Small: First Place: Sydney, Divya Jindal, young professional officer; Second Place: Northwest Florida, Ryan Sherrill, young professional officer; Third Place: Savannah, Barry Haddon, young professional officer

  • Medium: First Place: Antelope Valley, Joseph Piotrowski, young professional officer; Second Place: Wichita, Vicki Johnson, section chair

  • Large: First Place: St. Louis, Stephen Clark, young professional officer; Second Place: Northern Ohio, Roger Tokars, young professional officer; Third Place: San Diego, Lindsay Sweeney, young professional officer

  • Very Large: First Place: Greater Huntsville, Nishanth Goli, young professional officer; Second Place: Hampton Roads, Vanessa Aubuchon and Michelle Lynde, young professional officers; Third Place: Rocky Mountain, Alexandra Dukes, young professional section officer

The Outstanding Activity Award allows the Institute to acknowledge sections that held an outstanding activity deserving of additional recognition. The winners are:

  • Very Small: Delaware, David Fox and Breanne Sutton, section chairs. Race to Escape. In January 2019, to celebrate the transition of the section’s Young Professional (YP) chair from Dan Nice to Katie Barbour, they had a Race to Escape event at a local escape room. The escape room venue allowed for dueling rooms and the section pitted their incoming YP chair’s team against the outgoing YP chair’s team. Members and prospective members were allowed to choose which team they signed up for when reserving their spot. The social event started with a happy hour at a local restaurant before the event and then the group moved to the Escape Room. The event was well attended for their very small section with 18 people in total, with quite a few being first-time participants in an AIAA event. They offered a discounted rate for AIAA members and prospective members paid the full price.

  • Small: Niagara Frontier, Walter Gordon, section chair. New Horizons Flyby of Ultima Thule. Alice Bowman, Mission Operations Manager, New Horizons, gave an evening lecture at the Niagara Aerospace Museum on March 20, followed by a STEM-focused lecture at the museum the morning of March 21, and a dinner meeting, jointly held with the Aero Club of Buffalo, that evening. The STEM event at the museum was attended by 32 middle and high school students from the area as well as teachers, parents, and members of the community. Before her talk Bowman presented the winners of the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP) Mission 13 Patch competition with their certificates, and after the talk signed autographs and accompanied them on a tour of the space section of the museum. The dinner meeting was well attended by the AIAA University at Buffalo Student Branch and afterward Bowman spent considerable time talking with them and signing more autographs.

  • Medium: Wichita, Vicki Johnson, section chair, and John Pilla, section secretary. An Evening of Eagles — A View from Up High. The section held a panel discussion with John O’Leary, Vice President and General Manager of Airbus in Wichita; Thomas Bisges, Vice President of Product Development Engineering - Bombardier in Wichita; Sean Black, Vice President and Chief Engineer of Research & Technology, Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita; Brad Thress, Senior Vice President of Engineering, Textron Aviation in Wichita; and John Tomblin, Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer and Executive Director of the National Institute of Aviation Research, Wichita State University. Prior to the panel discussion, Brad Thress presented the Special Service Citation for Engineers as Educators to Wichita Section STEM K-12 Officer Minisa Childers (a Textron Aviation employee). After opening statements by the panel members, the floor was opened to questions from the audience. The questions were varied and informed; the discussion was excellent.

  • Large: St. Louis, Thomas Rehmeier, section chair. Meet Aurora Flight Sciences. The AIAA St. Louis Section February dinner meeting featured Aurora Flight Sciences (a recent acquisition by the Boeing Company). Unlike typical dinner meetings with just a guest speaker and a meal, this was a multi-faceted event with reach across multiple areas of interest. A panel of six Aurora representatives, including their VP of Defense Autonomy and Director of Special Projects gave a presentation featuring the latest in cutting-edge technology in passenger air vehicles and the Odysseus solar-powered autonomous aircraft projects currently in development and testing. This was followed by an open Q&A with professional and student members and the presenters. Local student branch booths were set up before and after the event for students to showcase their designs to the Aurora design leads and program leadership. As part of the networking/social before and after the event, graduating seniors as well as grad students reviewed their resumes with the Aurora Talent Acquisition lead who had several open positions. The event took place at the Engineer’s Club of St. Louis. Door prizes were awarded to a few lucky participants and the Aurora speakers were presented with a limited-edition marble-mounted challenge coin bearing the name and logo of the section.

Very Large: Los Angeles-Las Vegas, Robert Friend, section chair. Sci-Tech vs Sci-Fi. This event was held at the Redondo Beach Public Library in commemoration of the Apollo 11 (49th) and Viking (42nd) anniversaries and featured a Q&A panel with retired engineers that had worked on Apollo and Viking during their careers as the introductory portion of the program, whose purpose was really stage-setting — discussing the accomplishments of the past in preparation for the main session, which was a give-and-take between panelists from current academic, engineering, and scientific careers (Sci-Tech) “debating” with an opposing group of panelists with a science fiction (Sci-Fi) background (authors, movie industry, and artists). The session was moderated by University of Southern California Professor Madhu Thangavelu. The primary purpose of the event was outreach and networking to connect with the local community and demonstrate the connections between what we used to think was “science fiction” and is now science fact, and that much of engineering takes imagination that is not that different from that used to visualize what “could be” if technology only enabled it.

*Image: AIAA Delaware Section

About AIAA
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest aerospace technical society. With nearly 30,000 individual members from 85 countries, and 97 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, www.aiaa.org, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA.

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